A recent Wall Street Journal article reported, “A handful of scientific studies have found (vibrating) devices reduce perception of pain during needle sticks.” This is similar to findings Bresslergroup discovered in 2011 while developing DentalVibe, the dental tool cited by the WSJ article as an example of a vibrating injection device that dental patients love.
“Although masking pain by vibration is a mechanism that has been known for years,” says David Schiff, Bresslergroup’s Director of Research and Development, “we discovered that the effect can be short-lived as the body gets accustomed to the sensation. We discovered a way to keep the effect going almost indefinitely by the pulsing, rather than continuous, vibration that was designed into the DentalVibe.”
When it was released, DentalVibe was the first device of its kind. In addition to its novel, pulsing VibraPulse technology, we used mechanical engineering design and materials to maximize delivery of vibration to the patient while minimizing the transmission of vibration from the instrument to the dentist’s hand to avoid the occurrence of vibration-related fatigue and musco-skeletal injuries with prolonged use.
One of the biggest challenges during this product’s development was figuring out how to combine the VibraPulse technology, its means of transmission of vibration, and an LED light to illuminate the injection site, into a single, disposable, recyclable tip. We also tried to make DentalVibe as approachable as possible by lending it a soft look and feel similar to home dental gear, such as electric toothbrushes. An audible stimulus — a low buzzing — further distracts patients from the pain of injection.