Once relegated to the realms of science fiction, the concept of needle-free injections was something you only ever expected to see in Star Trek. Now Dentavision has secured dental distribution rights for the unique new Injex needle free injection system that at an RRP of just $350, will soon become commonplace in practices everywhere.
The Injex system uses an injection ampoule with a micro orifice of only 0.18mm in diameter through which anaesthetic is administered under dosed pressure to the submucosa, without a needle, virtually painlessly and exactly where it is needed. And, it works with your favourite dental anaesthetic... all of them in fact.
Dr Elie Alam, the principal dentist at Pain Free Dentistry in Harris Park, Sydney, was one of the first clinicians in Australia to start using the system.
"Given the name of our practice, Injex was potentially a perfect fit for us," Dr Alam said. "So when Dentavision introduce it to me, I was of course eager to see if it actually worked. We have a lot of patients who are terrified of the needle and the great news is that Injex does deliver on its promise.
"I've tried Injex on myself and on numerous patients and it infiltrates without pain. You feel a pressure on your gums as you inject and you hear a 'pop' but the pain is gone. Patients are amazed.
"It works best in the upper maxillary areas and is very effective. It uses less anaesthetic than normal and the onset is noticeably quicker.
"You can inject any dental anaesthetic with it and it comes in two parts. One part is a sterile loading system for the single use injection ampoules and the other is the actual injector that delivers the anaesthetic."
To use Injex, it has to be placed on the gingiva at an angle of 90 degrees directly above the tooth to be anaesthetised. This access requirement essentially defines its area of application in the mouth with anaesthesia possible on teeth 15-25 and 33-43 in adults and 55-85 in the primary dentition.
Experienced dentists, however, are able to use Injex to administer anaesthetic to all deciduous teeth (Koerperich, 2002). The shorter onset time (Saleh et al, 2002) also reduces the treatment-induced stress for children and since only 0.3 ml of local anaesthetic is administered, the maximum dose is hardly ever used. Even very young children can be treated with Injex (Koerperich, 2002) who are especially pleased with the needle-free injection.
The stress for accompanying parents is also reduced significantly due to the shorter treatment time and practitioners feel less stress when administering local anaesthetic due to the lower risk of injury. Patients typically continue to request anaesthesia with this system the next time they visit.
Contrary to conventional local injection methods, infiltration anaesthesia with Injex delivers the local anaesthetic submucously down to the periosteum (Koerperich, 2002). This leads to a more rapid diffusion and resorption and a quicker rise to the effective concentrations.
The result is a significantly quicker rise to a pain-eliminating level. Studies have shown effects in just a few seconds (1 to 90 secs) after administering the anaesthetic.
The therapeutic effective window with a reliable and safe elimination of pain extends in comparison with conventional injections (Saleh et al., 2002). A shorter duration of soft tissue numbness is observed as a positive side effect, which additionally pleases patients (Kanzler, 2001).
Sufficient anaesthesia is achieved with comparably low doses and this is especially important with children who have a lower dose limit. The total required amount of local anaesthesia is even further reduced due to the extended effective window and the targeted anaesthetising of the individual tooth. Consequently, reduced doses are necessary to anaesthetise patients in general (Saleh et al., 2002).
"We've been quite amazed that after using the system for such a short amount of time and through word of mouth alone, new patients have already been calling up and asking about Injex," Dr Alam said.
"For someone who is terrified of needles, it helps them overcome some of the fear of coming to the dentist. Everyone who I have tried it on said that they prefer it to the needle and it is proving to be a very helpful tool to have in the practice."