NuCalm: The Drug-Free Alternative to Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry has long been the best available method to help anxious dental patients get needed dental care despite their anxiety. It remains a good option, but because of its many drawbacks, it is good for dentists and patients to consider supplemental or alternative treatment with NuCalm, the first effective relaxation dentistry technique capable of producing a consistent relaxation effect without drugs or impairment.
There are three common methods of sedation dentistry: oral sedation, inhaled sedation, and IV sedation. Understanding the mechanism of these types of sedation and how they differ from NuCalm can help you understand how NuCalm is different, and, in many ways, better.
How NuCalm Works
NuCalm consists of four different techniques that combine to stimulate the body’s natural relaxation
pathways. The first is the administration of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) through a nutrient
supplement or a topical cream. GABA is the body’s natural relaxation chemical. When GABA works on
your brain, it shuts down activities in preparation for sleep.
Normally when you’re stressed, your body resists GABA, only taking it up in small amounts. But with the cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device, the GABA receptors are more open. The CES also stimulates your brain to produce serotonin, another important sleep regulator chemical.
Headphones are used to deliver music that contains binaural beats–different rhythmic signals in each ear–which helps change your brainwaves from the rapid speeds of an anxious brain to the slower speeds at the edge of sleep.
Light-blocking glasses further help your body establish that it should relax.
How Oral Sedation Works
Oral sedation is a pill that you take before (or after) you come to the dentist’s office. The most common medications used are benzodiazepines which are normally prescribed for sleep.
Benzodiazepines work by targeting GABA receptor sites in the brain, creating an effect similar to sleepiness. In fact, some people fall asleep in the dental chair under the influence of oral sedation.
Side effects of benzodiazepines include lack of coordination, including an inability to stand or perform basic motor tasks. They will require the patient to have an escort to and from the dental appointment. Many benzodiazepines induce amnesia so many people don’t remember their dental appointment at all.
How Nitrous Oxide Sedation Works
Nitrous oxide is a simple molecule that seems to impact a wide range of systems throughout the body. For purposes of sedation, the primary effect is that it uses the same method as benzodiazepines to increase GABA acceptance in the brain.
Some side effects of nitrous oxide are positive, such as pain relief. Others can be pleasant, such as euphoria. There are toxicity risks and potential brain damage has been suggested after exposure for several hours.
How IV Sedation Works
During IV sedation, medications are delivered intravenously and vital signs are closely monitored. The medications can include benzodiazepines, opiates, or ketamine. Ketamine works by preventing certain signals from reaching the brain from the spine, including pain signals. Opiates work by activating special places in the brain that give pleasure and block pain.
Side effects of ketamines include hallucinations, delusions, confusion, and amnesia. Side effects of opiates include addiction risk, and the gradual reduction of efficacy. An escort is recommended for IV sedation as well.
NuCalm’s Minimal Side Effects
Side effects from NuCalm are reduced because it doesn’t use just a single mechanism of action, allowing for each mechanism to be subtler while creating the same overall effect. In order for oral sedation or nitrous to achieve its effects using only a single mechanism, it has to create a substantially greater effect, resulting in greater suppression of your conscious mind and less control over the ultimate effects.
The effects last for a longer period of time, too, because our bodies cannot accommodate or control the chemicals the way we control our brain’s natural chemicals. We have to metabolize and eliminate them.
NuCalm and Sedation Dentistry Can Be Used Together
One of the benefits of NuCalm is that, because it’s a drug free alternative, it has no interactions with sedation dentistry drugs. This means that it can be safely used alongside sedation techniques, as it has been by many dentists, to amplify the effects of sedation dentistry with lower dosages. This improves the efficacy of sedation dentistry and reduces the risk of side effects.
Want to learn whether NuCalm or sedation dentistry is right for you? Please contact us today for a consultation.
NuCalm Technology in the Dental Office
NuCalm has the ability to change a dental visit from a dreaded chore to a sort of relaxation holiday that patients may actually look forward to. Dental patients are naturally anxious because dental treatment puts them in an anxiety-inducing situation. To counter the anxiety, dentists have become familiar with sedation options and understand both the benefits and drawbacks of the procedures. NuCalm technology is not disruptive to the procedures of a typical dental office, and dentistry is a forward-looking profession where adoption of new technologies is done regularly.
NuCalm lets dentists finally complete their goal of creating a spa-like atmosphere in their dental practice because it gives them the essential component of any spa: relaxation.
Dental Patients Want a Better way
To some degree, anxiety is a natural response to the situation people find themselves in when they visit the dentist. They are on their back, with bright lights shining in their faces, and someone is putting hands inside their mouth. This automatically triggers their stress response.
The primary way dentists have offered to counter this stress is to use sedation dentistry. The problem with sedation is that it causes a completely backward effect: instead of combating the stress response, it suppresses the conscious mind, the part of the patient that wants dental care and knows that it’s best for them, often leaving the stress response intact or only suppressed as a side effect. Patients may remain stressed, they’re just incapable of realizing it or of doing anything about it, which may become its own source of anxiety.
And then there are the side effects of sedation, such as grogginess, nausea, and delayed recovery.
Dental patients want a better way to visit the dentist without feeling anxious.
NuCalm Is an Ideal Solution for the Dental Office
NuCalm relaxation dentistry is an ideal approach for dental offices. Patients can easily use it while they are in the dental chair. Since it only takes two minutes to implement the protocol, is effective within five minutes, and doesn’t interfere with the normal practices in the office. The small time investment often pays itself back in improved ability to work efficiently without interruption on a relaxed patient. And with the introduction of the relaxation cream instead of the tablets, there’s not even any concern about introducing anything to the mouth before the procedure.
NuCalm can also be used along with traditional sedation methods, such as oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, or IV sedation because there’s no interaction with the drugs.
Dentists Are Open to New Technology
Another thing that makes dentists perfect for NuCalm is that they are happy to integrate new technologies into their practice–when these technologies improve patient experience. Digital dentistry and x-rays, chairside CAD/CAM machines, clear braces, and dental implants are just a few of the many dental technologies that have transformed the profession in recent years. All these offer better results and/or experience for patients, and NuCalm fits perfectly alongside these other technologies.
Truly Spa-Like Dentistry
Recently, many dentists have been trying to assemble a dental experience that is like a visit to a spa. Dentists have added luxury, increased comforts, and become more responsive–anticipatory, even–of their patients’ needs, but for most patients there’s a big piece missing from that experience: relaxation.
In a true spa experience, patients feel more relaxed when they leave than when they came in. They have had a soothing experience, perhaps even a meditative one. Their mood has improved, and they feel energized for the rest of their day, and often for days afterward. They sleep better that night.
NuCalm can do that for dental patients.
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