What is it?
The Wand is essentially a computer-controlled dental injection. The flow rate of the local anaesthetic is controlled by a computer. This means that the injection is guaranteed to be slow, steady and therefore comfortable.
Most people who have had a bad experience with injections think that needles sting because the skin is pierced, but this is usually not so! Most often, the sting was caused because the anesthetic was pumped in too quickly. Obviously, it is possible for the dentist to control the speed with a standard syringe, but the idea of the Wand is to take out the “human error”. This can be very reassuring for people with previous bad experiences.
What does the Wand look like?
It simply doesn’t look like a syringe! Welcome to, Dentistry for Today!
As you can see in the photo, the “hardware” looks similar to a miniature computer tower.
On the top of the little tower sits a cartridge with local anaesthetic. A tube connects this to a pen-like handpiece which has a very tiny needle. The handpiece device looks just like a ball point pen and is held like a pen! Using the Wand is very enjoyable for the dentist because it is so light and easy to handle. To start the computer, the dentist presses a footpedal connected to the computer tower. The computer does the rest. That way, the dentist can focus all attention on holding the handpiece in the right position.
The WAND has two speeds, slow and slower and it even speaks saying “cruise” to let the dentist know they can use cruise control mode.
What are the advantages?
1. Looks non-threatening. Researchers have found that the Wand induces less anxiety than any other injection method (Kudo et al, 2001).
2. The precise control of flow rate and pressure reliably produces a comfortable injection even in potentially more “difficult” areas like the palate, where the tissue is less elastic.
3. Many dentists enjoy the light weight and easy handling. The penlike grasp allows the operator to rotate the handpiece, which can make it easier to glide the needle into the tissue.
What are the disadvantages?
So why do so few dentists use the Wand if the WAND is so great?
1. Cost! It’s more expensive than using traditional syringes, both for the machine and the disposables. And if you wanted to rely on the Wand alone, you’d have to have a backup Wand in case one breaks down sometime, which means more cost. Because the cartridge holder, tube and handpiece are disposables, there’s a larger volume of hazardous waste (and higher costs for getting rid of the extra waste).
2. Some dentists complain they lose time because it takes longer than their “standard” injection.
3. Takes up extra space. This can be a problem in some rooms, depending on space and layout.
4. A lot of dentists are happy with their painless injection techniques and don’t see the need for it.
How can I find a dentist who uses the Wand? Go to www.thewand.com or www.milestonescientific.com