The anesthetic delivery experience is the single most intimidating part of the dental visit. Patients dread it and most physicians wish that it could be avoided. At verena, we decided to do something about this by creating products that help to reduce this anxiety.
Why we Fear
Patients have exhibited some sort of 'needle phobia' essentially as long as needles have been in use. At the core, patients are afraid of an unknown pain and contributing to this fear is the turn-of-the century look of the system - a long, skinny, stainless-steel needle with a devastatingly sharp tip. Top it off with a sense of helplessness and you have a recipe for a bad experience.
Dentists and Hygienists employ a number of different techniques to resolve this, from topical anesthetics to hiding the needle and finally the 'soft touch' approach which really relies on psychology. All of these help but the core of the problem remains.
Neutralize the Threat
SimpleCAP was specifically designed to deal with the last half of the problem: the way the system looks. A study done in 2007 and published in The Journal of Family Practice addresses this exact problem and found that simply decorating and disguising the needle/syringe reduced anxiety by GREATER than 50%. We spent a significant amount of time hiding and shielding the needle through the use of color and a curved sheath. Our testing suggests that we are achieving the same reduction.
Future versions of this product, geared more toward children, will employ fun designs (candy cane, sparkles, etc) which will allow the patient to develop a comfort level with the produced at an early age - rather than just telling the child to 'suck it up'.
At the end of the day, the less patients fear coming to the office the more likely they are to complete their treatment plans and given how much revenue is lost
Patients with Needle Phobia? Try stress-reducing medical devices. J Fam Pract. 2006 August;55(8):697-700