Great strides have been made in the dental industry that makes it so that people no longer have to deal with uncomfortable or unsatisfactory dental conditions. Dentists are now able to address virtually any type of dental issue from cavities and tooth decay to cosmetic issues like crooked teeth and overbites. Some more serious types of procedures, such as ones that require dental surgery require that the patients be given an anesthetic in order to keep them calm throughout the procedure as well as to reduce any pain that they might feel during it. Still, some other procedures like dental implants might require that the patient be put to sleep entirely. Regardless, sedation is a regular part of certain types of dental procedures, but thanks to modern technology, the way that anesthesia is administered is swiftly changing.
What Is Computer Generated Anesthesia?
Among the newest ways that dentists and other health professionals can administer sedation is through computer generated anesthesia. As its name implies, computer generated anesthesia is a form of anesthesia that is controlled via a computer rather than the administering dentist. The types of computer-operated machines used to administer anesthesia in this fashion are commonly known as either the “Wand” or the “STA System.” STA stands for Single Tooth Anesthesia.
How Computer Generated Anesthesia Works
Computer generated anesthesia works by using a pen-like device to administer a constant flow of anesthesia to the patient in order to keep him or her relaxed throughout the entire procedure. Of course, in order for anesthesia to be administered, there must be a needle somewhere, but the pen-like appearance of the tool used to administer the anesthesia gives the impression that no needle is being used on the patient. The pen-like device consists of two parts, one of which is a small computer tower that controls the amount of anesthesia injected into the patient over the course of a dental procedure and the other of which is the part that contains the needle. Although it might sound complicated, it’s actually quite simple for dentists to use computer generated anesthesia. They start by applying a topical anesthetic to the area where the patient will be injected with the pen so that the area will be numb when the actual injection process takes place, making it so that the patient feels no pain. Then, all the dentist has to do is gently press down on the foot pedal that controls the machine to start the administration of the anesthesia. The entire process to administer the anesthesia in this fashion takes approximately one minute.
Benefits of Computer Generated Anesthesia
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of using computer generated anesthesia is that it not only relaxes patients and helps put them at ease throughout their dental procedures, but it can also ease any anxiety that patients have concerning needles. Because the device that houses the needle doesn’t have the appearance of a needle, patients tend to relax. This is especially true in patients who have a phobia against seeing a needle going into their bodies. Instead of seeing a needle looming over them, they’ll simply see the pen-like device, and to top it all off, the injection sites are numbed beforehand, further reducing any pain. In fact, it’s not really the needle itself that causes the pain many people feel when they’re injected, but rather the pressure of the liquid anesthesia entering their bodies. The numbing agent applied helps control the discomfort associated with anesthesia entering the body.
Additionally, humans are subject to error, so some patients might fear that their dentists could get their dosages wrong when administering anesthesia. When the anesthesia is computer generated, though, patients don’t have to worry about that because the machine is exact and will only administer the appropriate amount of anesthetic. Computers are much more precise than humans, which can also set patients’ minds at ease when they have to undergo sedation at their dentists’ offices.
Dental Fear Central. “The Wand: CompuDent or STA system.” Retrieved on March 10, 2016, from http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/technology/wand/.
Inside Dentistry. “The Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA) System from Milestone Scientific.” Retrieved on March 10, 2016, from https://www.dentalaegis.com/id/2007/05/the-single-tooth-anesthesia-sta-system-from-milestone-scientific.
Dental Fear Central
500 West Main St.
104 Pheasant Run
Newtown, PA 18940