Many times, the dental phobia of anxious patients is due not to the procedure itself (as those are almost completely painless), but to the anaesthetic delivered as a jab to a sensitive area with a needle. Needles inspire fear in many patients, and the thought of having a needle jabbed into a particularly sensitive area in the mouth will cause even the least bit anxious patients to rethink their treatment. Luckily, all this can be a thing of the past with a new form of anaesthetic that maybe just around the corner.
The idea is to zap the nerve with a tiny electrical current, thus disabling it temporarily in much the same way that anaesthetic now temporarily shuts the nerve down by overloading it. This would require no needles, no initial pain form being jabbed in the mouth, and would be just as instantaneous, or slightly more so. Although the area where needles are jabbed is usually prepared with a topical anaesthetic to dull the pain, since the needle goes deeper than the area numbed by the ointment, you will still feel a sharp jab in a place that is very tender and very sensitive.
How it works
The idea is to use a hydrogel made of conductors and two kinds of local anaesthetic, and put it on the area we wish to anaesthetise. This hydrogel will numb the area slightly, and conduct the electrical current hat is then applied to the area. The combination will then completely take away all feeling in the affected area, allowing for any kind of dental procedure to take place. The electrical current used as the anaesthetic is completely pain free and very mild.
When will it be available?
This technology is currently undergoing clinical trials and will be available very soon, but not just yet. First it must be proven that it is safe and that there are no long term side effects, and this has yet to be proven. Once the results are in, I am confident that dentists all over the world will be most happy to switch, as this will mean more patients and more revenue.