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Inside Dentistry
July 2022
Volume 18, Issue 7

Keeping Patients Comfortable is Everything

DentalVibe® helps provide pain-free injections

Richard Lechner, DDS

Richard Lechner, DDS, began his career in dentistry a little later in life than most. After initially serving in the US Navy and then pursuing an acting career in New York City, Lechner decided to change course at age 40. "The problem with being an actor in New York City is that it feels like 50,000 people are chasing two jobs," Lechner says. "However, I always knew that dentistry would be a good career, and I had never heard of an unemployed dentist." When Lechner's own dentist, a faculty member at the New York University College of Dentistry, offered him the opportunity to spend some time at the school, he jumped at the chance and found a new calling. "I was immediately hooked, and I never looked back," he says.

Lechner decided to pursue general dentistry because he did not want to ever feel limited in his work. "I thought that doing the same type of procedures for 20 years might feel like a trap," he says. "Therefore, I learned to do everything, and knowing what I know now, I would not change a thing." Lechner offers a number of services at his practice, including root canals and oral surgery. Located near his hometown of Moodus, Connecticut, in a tight-knit community that is 70% Polish, New Britain Dental Arts advertises that its expertise and compassion set it apart. The practice's website states that its team members "dedicate each day to creating a positive experience for every single patient," and Lechner notes that making patients feel as comfortable as possible is "everything" when it comes to the type of atmosphere that he aims to provide.

With that in mind, approximately 7 years ago, Lechner and his partner each decided to purchase the DentalVibe®—a unique device that can help to alleviate patient fear and anxiety regarding anesthetic injections. The DentalVibe works by providing a gentle vibration at the site of a dental injection, which overloads the nerves that send signals to the brain so that the patient does not register the pain or discomfort. In addition, the sound of the vibration creates an added distraction during injection, and once the anesthetic has been delivered, the vibration also helps to disperse it so that it can begin to take effect even faster. The device can be especially helpful when treating children.

The first time that Lechner used the DentalVibe, he was sold. "The patient looked at me as if this was the greatest thing since sliced bread," he says. "I never stopped using it. Today, I use it on 99% of my patients for every procedure that requires anesthesia. Lechner explains that patients' reactions never get old. "Just this morning, a patient asked me when I was going to use the needle," he says, "and I explained that I had already performed the injection. To this day, I get such a kick out of patients asking me that. Oftentimes, they think that the vibration made them numb because they do not feel the needle. It is just amazing."

Research has shown that the DentalVibe works. When the sensations from the vibration and the injection are occurring simultaneously, the feeling of the vibration reaches the brain first and essentially blocks the feeling of the injection from being perceived. DentalVibe recently updated its guidance to reflect that the device should be applied to the injection site with a light touch for 15 seconds, after which the injection should be performed within 3 mm of one of the device's vibrating prongs. If done correctly, the company says that DentalVibe should work every time. "It may seem technique-sensitive, but to me, it is very intuitive," Lechner says. "When you do it right, the patient's brain only picks up the vibration."

The company, Lechner adds, is extremely easy to work with. "Whenever I run low on the disposable tips," he says, "I grab my phone, send a text message, and the tips are in my office 3 days later. It is a very quick, clean transaction."

DentalVibe's impact on Lechner's practice has been immeasurable. He notes that the patients themselves have done more to spread the word about the device than he has. "Pain is one of the biggest factors that keeps people away from the dentist," he says. "I have many more online reviews than any of my neighboring dentists, and most of them are 5-star reviews. The DentalVibe has had a lot to do with that. People know that when they visit my practice, they will not experience pain from injections. It is a huge factor."

Lechner emphasizes that he would recommend the DentalVibe to any dentist. "I am amazed that it has not yet reached a rate of 90% market penetration," he says. "If you use it once and see the patient's reaction, you will realize that not using it would be a great disservice." Indeed, DentalVibe's user base is growing. More than 1,500 dentists are featured on the company's Pain-Free Dentist Directory, and more are being added each day.

Although his past was in acting, Lechner does not mince words when speaking about products that help him provide high-quality dentistry to his community. "I have been using the DentalVibe for 7 years," he says, "and when I talk about the impact that it has had on my practice, I am speaking from the heart."

Key Points
DentalVibe works by providing a gentle vibration at the site of the injection to overload the nerves that send pain signals to the brain.
DentalVibe should be applied to the site with a light touch for 15 seconds, after which the needle should be injected within
3 mm of the prongs.
The vibrations help to disperse the injected anesthetic so it can begin to take effect even faster.


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