Taking the pain away

This won't hurt a bit.

A British researcher has developed a pain-free jab that could stop the agony of having an injection at the dentist.

Dr John Meechan, a senior lecturer in dental sciences at Newcastle University, has invented a syringe, which enables the anaesthetic to be mixed with a neutralising solution just before it is injected into a patient’s mouth. This stops it being painful. They are usually administered into the gum or inner cheek just before a filling, tooth extraction or root canal treatment, which would otherwise be excruciatingly painful.

We think our idea has great potential to improve the comfort of dental injections, which will benefit all patients who need anaesthetics at the dentist,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Meechan as saying. “The whole idea was to make dental injections more comfortable for patients and we’ve done that by changing the delivery system,” he said.

Speaking to the Herald Sun in Melbourne about the finding, Australian Dental Association Victoria president Dr Anne Stewart said anaesthetics and methods of delivery were improving all of the time.

“Dentists are aware a high percentage of people are anxious and we do try to minimise that anxiety,” she said.

Speaking on British radio, Dr Meecham explained: “One of the things that causes pain during an injection is the solution in the cartridge, because the solution is very acidic and causes a stinging sensation. The solution has to be acidic so it can be stored for long periods and still remain effective,” he added.


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