“It cuts off power to the drill,” Dr. Martha Cortez said of the newly patented “Dental Button.”
Cortez, a specialist in “dental phobia,” said the $1,700 device is mostly aimed at relieving anxiety and fears that may stem from childhood.
“You have a drill going, and it may be hurting because the numbness wore away, or it may hit an area too close to the nerve,” Cortez said.
“What do you do? How can you tell someone to stop when you have something in your mouth?”
Cortez plans to start offering the button this week.
“I’m going to call a patient who has canceled gum surgery twice in a row” to ease her fears, she said.
Dentists estimate that 80 percent of patients will never press the button, which is mainly aimed at giving them a sense of control.
“If they have a high anxiety, they will burn through the anesthesia faster,” Cortez said.