Dentistry’s game changers – Philip Lewis on Vibraject
To celebrate 25 years of Dentistry magazine, we’ve asked leading dental professionals for their game-changing innovation that shaped their career. In this article we asked Philip Lewis what his game-changing product is.
Philip qualified in London in 1977.
He has special interests in aesthetic dentistry and postgraduate education.
Philip writes extensively for the dental professional press and has had articles published in England and abroad.
He has appeared on television and radio in his capacity of media spokesman for the British Dental Association.
Philip lectures internationally on a range of clinical subjects.
Philip is an ambassador for the UK charity The Mouth Cancer Foundation and clinical lead of its Mouth Cancer Screening Accreditation Scheme.
The one thing that has really changed the way I practice during the last 25 years is my Vibraject!
This simple electronic device fits onto an injection syringe and vibrates.
That’s it, that’s all it does!
So why has this been so life-changing?
Simply because I concentrate on my injection technique.
Fear of the injection puts many people off accepting dental treatments they want and need.
Gaining a reputation for giving painless injections is a great practice-builder, but of course there’s more to that than just buying a piece of kit.
This is what I’ve learned about giving comfortable injections.
First, you need good quality equipment.
Needles need to be super-sharp and well-bevelled so that they glide through the tissue rather than punching a hole in it.
The injection solution needs to be at least at normal room temperature to avoid the painful cold rush just after the needle goes in.
Shaking the mucosa up and down, then letting it fall onto the needle tip gives a much more comfortable experience but pivotally the injection needs to be administered very, very slowly.
In university they taught us ‘a mil a minute’ and it certainly shouldn’t be faster than that.
Using a Vibraject at the same time has a number of benefits.
The vibration may well compete with and win over pain signals transmitted at the same time as the manufacturers claim, but the buzzing of the unit certainly confuses the patient and takes their mind off what’s going on!
Whatever the explanation, the results I’ve had have been excellent.
I’ve had numerous testimonials and many referrals on the strength of what we do.
I often get the comment: ‘Don’t you use needles any more?’ or ‘Injections have really improved, haven’t they?’
Yes, they have, but only if you use the right technique.
My Vibraject is an integral part of that.
I wouldn’t be without it!