Special Care Dentistry Pain Relief Wand

Project cost: £4152.48

One of the most common forms of dental phobia is a fear of needles or injections. This type of phobia can make dental treatment very difficult for obvious reasons.

The Special Care Dentistry Department at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital treats the most vulnerable members of society, including those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health problems. The department also works closely with the paediatric dentistry department, whose patients include children with additional needs and those who have experienced trauma to their dentition.

To help prevent unnecessary fear and anxiety, the Special Care Dentistry Department wanted to introduce a Wand system, to help reduce the pain and discomfort experienced with the conventional syringe technique.

The conventional syringe technique can be painful, but the pain caused is created by the anaesthetic being delivered too quick or with too much force, not the actual injection itself. With the Wand, the flow of anaesthetic is computer-controlled by the CompuDent hardware, while the Wand is the hand piece that holds the needle. This means that by operating together, they remove the possibility of the injection being delivered too fast and therefore, minimises any pain.

The Wand itself looks more like a pen, rather than a syringe, and compared to conventional syringes the needle at its tip is very small and discrete. For patients who experience anxiety at the sight and thought of the needle, the Wand can help to ease fears and help patients to relax.

The Wand can also allow for a single tooth to be anaesthetised at one time. This eliminates that feeling of lower jaw, tongue and lip numbness for a long duration of time, which can disrupt the day and potentially cause distress, leading to self-trauma such as the biting of lips and tongue.

The Wand is an additional piece of equipment and will help to improve patient experience. The patients treated at the Chorley and South Ribble Hospital’s Special Care Dentistry Department will now be able to access care in dental services without the anxiety associated with conventional local anaesthetic delivery techniques or the need of additional methods of pain control.

A positive step for Dentistry, we hope to continue to make positive improvements like this across Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and South Ribble.