MIAMI (CBS4) – Do you hate going to the dentist? Then you’re not alone.
Studies show nearly half of all Americans avoid going to see a dentist because they fear the pain.
To eliminate some of that fear, a Boca Raton dentist invented a device which uses vibration to block the pain from injections.
“I would shake, I would sweat, I would panic,” said Desiree Lucchisi in describing decades of visits to the dentist. “I would just go only when there was an emergency. I would go into the dentist when it was a last case scenario and I had to pull a tooth.”
“Just the fear of coming through the door makes her heart rate go higher,” explained her dentist Jeffrey Feingold who added the fear of needles is a common problem for patients. “Patients fear the dentist. They don’t come and when they come their mouths are broken down, severe decay, bad gums bad gum disease.”
To try and alleviate some of Lucchisi’s fear, Feingold decided to try a new device called DentalVibe which came on the market last year. Its creator, Boca Raton dentist Steven Goldberg, said he invented it to help patients, like Lucchisi, who fear needles.
“We’re so used to shaking the lip when we give an injection. I thought what if I take that one step further. What if I look into the science of what’s really going on there,” Goldberg explained.
The device is based on the scientific gate control theory of pain that shows vibration travels to the brain very quickly while the pain sensation moves slower in comparison.
“So when both things are occurring at the same time vibration gets to the brain very quickly before the pain sensation gets there therefore closing the gate not allowing the pain sensation to reach the brain,” added Goldberg.
Feingold believes this will get patients who fear the dentist back in the dental chair. It sure worked for Lucchisi.
“I didn’t even know if he was finished. I didn’t even know if the needle was in my mouth and no feeling of a needle being in my mouth. For somebody like myself, who has a fear of the dentist and the needle, it’s the most amazing thing,” she said.
More than a thousand dentists across the country are already using this device which as you can imagine is great for kids too.
Goldberg says it is completely safe and similar devices are now being developed for cosmetic injections like Botox and for diabetics who endure daily injections of insulin.