The Wand

The Magic Wand! Your Tooth is Numb, But Not Your Lip!

Patients agree: “It’s the best shot I’ve ever had.”

The first thing you can expect is to smile, as the STA™ (Single Tooth Anesthesia) Wand is less threatening looking than a dental syringe. You’ll notice that your dentist will look more comfortable getting you numb because the Wand is simply held like a pen. You might not even know you’ve had an injection!

Welcome to the space age. This computer-controlled injection system has been shown in studies to decrease patients’ fear levels by 75-80 percent over traditional needle injections. And have you ever left your dentist’s office with numbness remaining in your lips or face? Those days can be few and far between now, as this anesthesia system precisely targets the exact area of your mouth that requires the anesthesia, leaving the rest of your mouth unaffected. The STA™ Wand addresses the two most common concerns of patients. First, your lip is not numb, the anesthetic goes directly to the tooth.

Second, it’s more comfortable. Most people who have had a bad experience with injections think that needles sting because the skin is pierced, but usually, the sting results from the anesthetic being fired in too quickly. While in theory the dentist is able to control the speed with a standard syringe, the idea of the Wand is to eliminate human error. This can be very reassuring for people with bad experiences. It also reduces the need for wasted time sitting in the dental chair while you wait for the anesthesia to take effect.

As you can see in the photo, the “hardware” looks like a miniature computer tower. On the top of the little tower sits a cartridge with local anesthetic. The injection is guaranteed to be slow and steady and therefore comfortable.

Using the Wand is also very comfortable for the dentist because it is so light and easy to handle. To start the computer, the dentist uses a foot pedal connected to the computer tower. The computer does the rest. That way, the dentist can focus all his attention on holding the hand piece in the right position. The cartridge holder, tube and wand hand piece are all single-use disposables.

The Wand looks non-threatening and almost cute. Researchers have found that the Wand induces less anxiety than any other injection method. “A little spray to numb the gums, then a few minutes slowly injecting small doses of anesthetic through the computerized system, and I didn’t feel a thing…My fear of needles is now a thing of the past!”

So why do so few dentists use the Wand if it’s that cool?

Cost. It’s more expensive than using traditional syringes, both for the machine and the disposables. A big motivation for me to invest in the Wand and the STA system was a three-year-old girl who was a recent patient. Following some dental work she had done, her mouth was numb. After she left the office, she chewed her lip while it was still numb. The chewing created a large sore and swelling that took weeks to heal. For me, eliminating the worry about a child biting his or her lip is the best part. The STA™ Wand is great for kids.

Some dentists complain they lose time because it takes longer than their standard injection. A lot of dentists are happy with their painless injection techniques and don’t see the need for it.

Every day, I look forward to finding the opportunity to use the STA Wand instead of the traditional injection syringe. The benefits are amazing. It’s non-threatening, which means less anxiety for the patients. My patients are comfortable with no droopy lip and no numb tongue. And the tooth gets numb rapidly so we can get to work right away. And most important, it’s more comfortable than the traditional injection.