New dental button gives patients control during procedures - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/25/09

New dental button gives patients control during procedures

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Fear keeps a lot of people away from the dentist's office, especially when it comes to the drill.  Now, a new instrument called the dental button is giving patients a weapon to fight their fear.  It's a hand held device that allows the patient to stop the power of the dentist's drill at any time during the procedure.

"It's a great thing because it helps alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety, which tends to heighten the pain response," said Charles Ferzli, D.D.S., a dentist.  It's hooked up to the air supply. And when the hand-piece is activated and I am actually drilling, once you press a button, it just shuts off the air supply to the hand piece and stops it from working."

Even with sedation, the drill can sometimes hit sensitive nerves, which is why most dentists will stop on their own several times during a procedure to ask, "Are you ok? Or does this hurt?" and with this procedure they don't have to.  You'd think it would slow down the procedure by giving the patient the power to stop the drill, but Dr. Ferzli says it's actually just the opposite because most people don't really use the button.  It's more of just a security blanket to ease the patient's nerves.  Dentists say sometimes knowing they are in control is all the reassurance patients need to help them through a scary procedure.

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