Do you know anyone who is nervous about visiting the dentist? Just about everyone that I know has some degree of anxiety when it comes to sitting in the dental chair. I remember a patient many years ago who had moved to Toronto from Israel. He had served his duty in the Israeli army and he said that he could stand unafraid with someone pointing a rifle at him, but somehow when he sat in the dental chair his nerves always got the better of him. Sometimes the tougher a person is, the more nervous they are about being in the vulnerable position of sitting in that chair.
WHY ARE WE SO NERVOUS ABOUT DENTAL WORK?
The first and most obvious answer is that it can be very painful. ... but does it have to be? These days dental work should be delivered rather painlessly on a routine basis. Injections can be given without pain when a good technique is used. There are also numerous hi-tech devices that claim to help deliver painless injections. When the tooth and mouth are well "frozen" there should be absolutely no pain. There are solutions that are not yet available in Canada, but will be soon, that buffer the anesthetic solution and help deliver a smoother pain free injection that is less uncomfortable when it reverses. I am very excited for its arrival to our country in the near future.
The second aspect is "fear of the unknown". We have this idea in our minds that dentistry causes pain and we are anticipating that it will hurt. I remember giving a very nervous patient an injection one time and when I told her that I was done, she turned to me and asked, "That's it? You don't use needles any more?" ... I told her that she had just received "the dreaded needle". That was the ultimate compliment!
Third: The mouth is a very personal and intimate area. We eat, talk, kiss, communicate, taste. We humans have a natural space that we like to keep around us. When someone invades that space we feel uncomfortable and very vulnerable. When we dentists enter someone's mouth we are invading that space. Fear and discomfort are the result.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS?
I have been using a neuroscience system for the last few years called NuCalm. NuCalm is a patented system that resets the autonomic nervous system to help transform our state from the "fight or flight" of high stress, to the relaxed, peaceful feeling of an experienced meditator. It involves the use of a natural calming supplement, a device that aids in the absorption of that supplement into our brain, specially engineered beautiful music listened to on special headphones, and eye coverings to eliminate sensory/visual stimulation. It helps people tolerate dental procedures with ease, and feel wonderful by the end of the procedure.
NuCalm has found use in helping people with Stage IV cancer who are under tremendous stress, and it is used by many professional athletes to help them reverse the adrenaline rush of a big game. They experience better rest and recovery and improved mental focus. If you are interested in experiencing the feeling of NuCalm let us know next time you are in the office. Those are just a few tools we have to make you feel comfortable in a dental office.
We know that many people would rather be just about anywhere else, but it is our Mission to help people relax in a dental chair and actually enjoy their experience.
Yours for better health,
Dr. Marty Frankel 3030-3080 Yonge Street, Toronto M4N 3N1, 416-770-8526 ... www.drmartyfrankel.