New dental tool eases anxiety

By: Allison Kropff Email
By: Allison Kropff Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A trip to the dentist probably isn't on your list of favorite things to do. Some patients tend to get a little anxious especially when it comes to the drill. But a local dentist hopes a new tool, that's the first ever device of its kind, will ease your fears.

The sound of a dentist's drill is enough to make anyone a little anxious.

"I had a bad experience as a child so I've always been a little nervous about the dentist," says Anna Martin. She still gets nervous when she sits in the dentists chair, and she worries about her daughters too.

"My oldest daughter recently had a really bad experience at another dentist."

Dr. Michael Solly says he understands the nervousness, but tries to calm the patients fears. "What we've said is, don't worry, we've got all these tools, we can get you numb, we numb you before we numb you, we'll play close attention to you, we can even sedate you, and they're still going, yea, but I don't really trust you."

Now when patients sit down in the dental chair they can calm their fears with the push of a button.

"It's called the dental button and the purpose is to immediately stop the drill," says Dr. Solly.

Typically, Dr. Solly would ask his patient to hold up their hand if they feel discomfort. "I've found patients are reluctant to do that, or we get preoccupied and we don't see it, and when I heard about the dental button, I thought, we've got to have that."

The dental button costs about $1500, but Dr. Solly says it's worth every penny. "Now we have patients that say, now I'm not afraid to come."

Patients like Anna and her two daughters. "Once she has control of something I think that will help her a lot as far as her anxieties and stuff."

Dentists all over the country are starting to use the dental button. Dr. Solly says he's had great feedback from his patients and says there is no extra cost to them for having it in his office.


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  • by Christy on Sep 18, 2009 at 09:08 AM
    What a great idea. This is absolutely the best invention for dentistry in a long time. Finally they care about what the patient thinks.
  • by James Location: Knoxvillr on Sep 18, 2009 at 09:01 AM
    Great story. Every that has any anxiety about going to the dentist should try the dental button.

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