Empathy, tenacity, and perseverance are keys to this clinician’s flourishing practice
What can you tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and lived there until I was 13 years old. My family relocated...
Focus on patients, family, academics, and endodontics
What can you tell us about your background?
I have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a minor in business. I was accepted off of the alternate list for dental school and then attained...
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Dr. Julian Webber discusses his commitment to pain-free endodontics
One of the biggest advances is the advent of technology that has made it possible to anesthetize the patient so that there is no discomfort, whether from the anesthetic itself or the treatment.
I have used The Wand® (Milestone Scientific) for the last 13 years. What appealed to me originally was that it is very non-invasive. I feel I can give an injection absolutely painlessly without the need for a topical anesthetic. The different injection techniques available with The Wand, especially in and around the palatal area, are innovative and very well accepted by the patients—much more so than conventional syringe anesthetic delivery systems.
How it works, in essence, is that the anesthetic is delivered ahead of the needle. A technique is recommended of pushing on the tissue before you actually start the injection and starting to inject before you pierce the tissue so a topical anesthetic itself is delivered. I find that technique excellent for all Wand- recommended protocols—which are numerous. And, it is a big practice builder. The patients love it—they always comment positively on it.
There is always a learning curve with something new, but I would say it was minimal with regard to The Wand. I particularly like the new Wand, the Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA) System® (Milestone Scientific). The ease of giving intra-ligamental anesthesia, and the feedback it gives me so I know I am actually in the periodontal ligament is very worthwhile. Certainly at any stage of the endodontic procedure, the intra-ligamental technique with the Wand STA alone is more than adequate.
I always advocate this product. I talk about it in my lectures, I show images, and I always recommend the proper distributors. I suppose it is like anything; it is the initial cost that puts people off. And as there is a learning curve, if they don’t master it straight away, it goes in the drawer. I can only say that it is worth mastering straight away because you can reassure patients with complete confidence when you say there will be no discomfort.
Any anesthetic technique should be painless, however, with The Wand STA it always is. It is much easier to ensure that. It uses the same amount of anesthetic, and it takes the same amount of time as a conventional syringe, perhaps marginally less. The faster you are giving the local anesthetic, the much greater opportunity there is for discomfort during the delivery, which is a common complaint.
The Wand STA automatically reduces the speed at which I can administer the solution, and therefore, keeps the opportunity for pain at bay. So for me, speed is not the issue. It is the fact that with the technology as it is, I can give a truly painless injection, and that is all I am really interested in.
Professional tips for The Wand STA
Julian Webber, BDS, MSc, DGDP, FICD, is a partner at the renowned Lister House Endodontic Practice in London. He is Editor-in-Chief of Endodontic Practice and an editorial adviser to Independent Dentistry. He has taught at Guy’s and the Eastman Dental Schools and has lectured widely in Europe and the United States. Dr. Webber is a faculty member of the Pacific Endodontic Research Foundation in San Diego, California, where he has perfected and taught techniques on microscopic endodontics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to textbooks in the field of endodontics.
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There remains a growing belief among clinicians that obturation is to blame for endodontic failures. This notion has more recently fallen under scrutiny as researchers have discovered that the most thorough obturation can only reflect the quality of the cleaning and shaping of the canal. In fact, a number of researchers point to the thorough use of irrigants — making sure that the debris and irrigant itself are lifted completely out of the canal, not forced out the apex — as the most important determinant in the long-term success of an endodontic procedure.
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