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Dr. Cosmo Haralambidis, founder and CEO of Synapse Dental, was at the 2019 Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) in Los Angeles, U.S., to launch the Dental Pain Eraser, a hand-held, pen-shaped, portable immediate pain relieving device, applied directly to the site of pain. He kindly took the time to explain its unique features.
Dr Haralambidis, could you tell me about yourself and Synapse Dental?
I am an orthodontist and practice in Cranston, Rhode Island. Research and developing new products appealed to me, and I perform clinical research and taught at Boston University and developed products with the University of Pennsylvania with the aim of improving the patient’s experience, always looking out for new solutions for better products. As a clinician, it is my passion to help improve patient care and to integrate and develop new technologies that can help.
The Greek philosophy is that, if you are going to do something, you strive for excellence in all that you do. My philosophy has always been to try to make the environment better both clinically and for our patients’ care. I have always tried to develop products for the patients but also to create better clinical diagnostics and find ways to integrate them in private practice. I aim to improve all aspects of the patient’s care.
“Synapse” refers to the way a nerve connects to another nerve but also reflects our relationship or connection to our patients. The company was founded in 2014. It took over ten years to get Synapse’s Dental Pain Eraser clinically evaluated and tested, and to get Food and Drug Administration [FDA] approval to finally be able to launch it here at the AAO session.
What is the Dental Pain Eraser?
The Dental Pain Eraser was first used for relieving orthodontic discomfort and pain, by applying the neuromodulation current directly to the surrounding periodontal structure and relieving pain in less than 5–8 seconds per tooth. The vast majority of patients experience significant discomfort within 24–48 hours of braces placement. It is possible to use the Dental Pain Eraser before the braces placement to prevent the sensation of pain, or when the patient is in pain, it can be used to avoid the need to take aspirin, ibuprofen or any other kind of pain reliever.
It is now possible for a patient to have it at home for use when needed, for example after braces have been placed or adjustments made. This has created the possibility of a nearly pain-free dental or orthodontic experience.
Is it also possible to use it for other indications and which ones?
The patient can at times get abrasions on the gingival tissue and lips and can apply the Dental Pain Eraser adjacent to the abrasion, in the area around it. It takes about 10–20 seconds for any discomfort to be gone and the sensation of abrasion to disappear.
We also use it with patients at the end of their orthodontic treatment. A lot of patients with gingival recession or very sensitive teeth experience significant discomfort with the debonding pain and polishing needed after appliance treatment. The Dental Pain Eraser can be applied directly to the tooth, blocking the nerve communication via the odontoblasts in the dentinal tubules and thereby blocking the sensation of pain inside the nerve so that in 10–20 seconds the patient has complete relief of sensitivity.
This caries over in application to patients who have dentinal hypersensitivity due to exposed dentine/enamel rods after whitening, toothbrush abrasion or root exposure, or who have post-restorative tooth preparation pain experienced in nonorthodontic patients. It can be applied to the tooth before procedures that would cause cold-sensitive patients’ discomfort. For patients who suffer from canker sores, it can be applied around the canker sore, and with further application of the Dental Pain Eraser (after showing the patient how to use it), the problems or pain they experience in eating and so on disappear.
Could you explain how the Dental Pain Eraser works?
It is based on neuromodulations, which have been tested over the past ten to 15 years, and zoning in on certain currents and frequencies that, when blended and safe, create a complete block of the nerve or neural impulse.
When the current is placed nearby that nerve, it creates a cascade effect, halting the communication between nerves and cellular chemical regulators, and consequently stopping the pain cascade response. Because of the cascade effect, the pain is not blocked temporarily, but rather in the same way medication works on pain, for a longer period.
What makes the Dental Pain Eraser stand out from other pain reliever tools available on the market?
This is the first portable, hand-held, direct contact nerve-blocking device that is FDA-approved on the market. The Dental Pain Eraser is the first pain relieving system that acts immediately, is drug- and opioid-free, portable and targeted, and has no side effects.
Do you see a use for it outside of dentistry?
Possibly, yes. The research on neuromodulation has zoned in on what levels and systems work the best. It is now entering all parts of medicine. There is interest in using these types of currents and frequencies for other types of diseases, such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, to relieve joint pain, or alter the effects of organ malfunction. Neuromodulation and its use will definitely be a component to consider in many other medical fields apart from
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