Ask Marty: Does the STA machine really make injections easier?

2014 02 13 13 44 51 873 Ask Marty200x200

Q: What are your thoughts on the STA machine? Does it really make injections easier?

A: The STA from Milestone Scientific stands for single tooth anesthesia, but in reality this device can be used for almost every type of injection.

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The STA system from Milestone Scientific.
In dental school, we are all taught to inject slowly. We are all capable of injecting slowly, but in the real world, we seldom take the time to do so. It's just not human nature, as both the patient and the doctor want the injection to be over with as quickly as possible.

I have been using the STA system for years. When I first got it, I only used it for intraligamentary periodontal ligament (PDL) injections. It's the best thing for giving PDL injections because it operates by telling you if you have positioned the needle properly (both visual and auditory signals). Think of it as a GPS for a PDL injection. It also gives the injection under low pressure, which is the opposite of the conventional high-pressure PDL injection.

I also use the PDL as an adjunct to an inferior alveolar nerve block (IANB) when performing endodontic therapy. Studies show that giving a slower IANB injection provides for faster onset and more profound anesthesia.

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Other nerve blocks that I like to give using the STA system are the anterior middle superior alveolar (AMSA) and palatal middle superior alveolar. For the AMSA, you slowly inject in the area between the maxillary premolars and the palatal suture. You will see a blanching of the palatal tissues. This will give you anesthesia from second premolar to central incisor. If you give this injection bilaterally, you will have pulpal anesthesia without collateral soft-tissue anesthesia of the face.

Eventually, I came to realize that the STA gives all injections better than I can! In addition, after I give an STA injection, I easily have time to do a single tooth restorative procedure, whether it is a direct restoration or a crown. The only injection I don't give with the STA machine is an intrapulpal, as the STA cannot generate sufficient pressure quickly enough to minimize the discomfort of the injection.

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I like the STA system because it offers a less stressful injection for both the doctor and patient. It gives me the ability to inject and get profound anesthesia instantly, thus start the procedure more quickly.

Even if you believe you give a good injection, the STA system makes things easier for you and your patients. Demo a STA unit and see for yourself why this is the best injection system and easily better than your standard syringe.

Martin Jablow, D.M.D., is a practicing dentist and a self-professed technophile who lectures and blogs on a variety of technologies used in dentistry ( If you have a technology question for Dr. Jablow, e-mail it to us at [email protected].

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