32-year-old Kevin Keehn knows what it feels like to get a root canal.
"This might be 4 or 5. The first time was a little nerve wracking"
But today… the pressure's off.
The first shot… which is usually the most painful …Keehn won't feel at all.
"We manage to deaden that needle stick."
Keehn's endodontist, Dr. Douglas Kase is using a new device…the Dental-Vibe…that stimulates the area around the injection.
"It's more a distraction for your nervous system."
Once Keehn's nervous system is distracted, Dr. Kase administers the anesthetic.
"The vibrations from the dental vibe reach the brain faster than the needle stick does."
Keehn says, "I felt a little vibration at first and then there was a slight pinch. But really you're more distracted by the vibration than the pinch itself."
An estimated half of all Americans avoid dental care because of anxiety about pain and needles.
Dentists say part of the dental vibe's appeal is that it looks like a regular electric toothbrush, so it doesn't scare the patient.@
"They go, you're done? Yeah, I'm done, it worked. Everything's fine. They can't believe it," says Dr. Kase.
Keehn says the device allowed him to go to his zen place even before his procedure began.
"If you're scared of needles, this is fine because you really feel nothing when you're lying down there. It doesn't hurt at all."
And doctors say a relaxed patient makes their job easier.