The Wand – tackling needle phobia
Jatinder Ubhi explains how he first came across The Wand and how it is transforming his patients’ injection experience.
Do you find that some patients live in fear of the local anaesthetic when they come and see you? That’s if they make it through the door, dreading ‘that big needle’.
Over the years I have found treating anxious patients rewarding. Especially when they say they are scared of ‘the needle’ and that even the ‘special cream’ doesn’t work; yet with time and a whole load of patience they have ‘the needle’.
This, however, has not always worked for me. Especially when treating much younger paediatric patients.
Using a traditional local anaesthetic syringe when administering the anaesthetic is deemed unsightly. But it can also have a negative emotional impact on the patient if not handled in a sensitive way.
Whether you approach a patient of 10 years of age or 100 years of age, one negative experience of a painful injection and they will carry this with them, impacting their access to dental care.
Introducing The Wand
My love of gadgets always meant I was well-suited to the dental profession. As the evolution of dentistry continues to advance with modern technology, so too does the methodology of anaesthetic administration.
Not one to shy away from trying new products when it comes to patient care, I am very particular about what I try. I have a high level of scepticism about claims the manufacturers make.
On an advert in a well-known dental magazine, I came across a bold claim for a piece of kit called ‘The Wand’. It promised pain-free dental injections.
Intrigued by this, I sought to research it more thoroughly to discover how effective it truly was, if at all!
Understandably, I was initially sceptical – considering whether a machine could function as safely as the traditional method of anaesthetic administration. After trying The Wand out for myself, that scepticism faded in an instant.
The Wand functions as a computerised plunger that administers a chosen anaesthetic solution through a needle. Targeting the correct part of a patient’s anatomy, The Wand seems to optimise the process by focusing on patient comfort.
I found that I can carry out the delivery of a local anaesthetic painlessly using The Wand. To my surprise, patients expressed no pain at all after using the tool to deliver local anaesthetic. What followed shortly was a numb mouth, without having had any reaction from the patient!
Building trust and standing out
The handpiece is lightweight and looks simply like a plastic tube with a pen grip. With some creative flare and short story, I can also portray this as a wand, making the name of the product very apt!
Using the foot pedal, the clinician can fully control The Wand to alter pressure and rate of anaesthetic delivery. This design delivers functionality for the user in my experience, whilst also maintaining great tactile control and sensation.
Attempting to administer upper posterior buccal local anaesthetic without the patient suffering too much discomfort is simple enough. The trick is to ensure this same level of comfort for our patients with the tight tissue areas known for causing increased levels of distress. With The Wand, I have found this to be possible.
Even for patients who suffer from what they class as needle phobia, it is possible to convince the majority with this kit. Without pain and discomfort, patients hardly notice the procedure when using The Wand until the numbness begins to develop.
By using The Wand, my patients have benefitted from it. I am seeing increasing numbers of patients re-attending requesting the use of The Wand tool. And it makes for great marketing.
As dentistry technology advances, so too must our practice.
For me, The Wand can help build trust with patients and it is a great way to stand out from the crowd as a practice.