What was this instrument called?

May 20, 2016
There's no specific reason for this post, but I am curious. When I was a kid (early 2000s), the dentist I went to used two different kinds of local anesthesia for cavity fillings: a syringe (which I assume was Novocaine), and this... thing. He called it a "pop gun", probably to try to make it sound cute. It looked kind of like a dental drill without a bit and had two little holes at the head. Rather than inject something in the back of your mouth, it made a click followed by a very sharp sting. Not sure if it's just me, but whatever it was seemed to render the Novocaine useless, so I felt everything.

The reason for my curiosity is that no dentist I've gone to after him ever used this contraption for cavity fillings, just nitrous oxide and Novocaine. Come to think of it, he used this lengthy cavity filling technique that I never encountered at any other dentist. Anyway... Does anyone here know of this instrument, and maybe why it isn't used anymore?

Zuri Barniv

Verified Dentist
May 17, 2015
Have no idea, but it may be a "Ligmaject". Look it up and see. I use one all the time and it should not sting or hurt. Also, no one uses Novocaine, that's just from the movies. 99% of dentists primarily use Lidocaine.


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