(NBC) – There is a new way to relieve anxiety about going under the dentist’s drill, and it doesn’t involve needles or prescription drugs.
Dentists hope a new procedure called Nu-Calm will get patients who stay away from their offices for years back into their chairs.
Dr. Stall is one dentist who offers the alternative to laughing gas and sedation in an effort to keep patients relaxed while he works.
“It’s a very natural way to help someone relax,” he said.
Nu-Calm is a four-step process. First, a patient takes the supplements gaba and l-theanine. Stall explained these are “basically the same thing your body produces when you are ready for sleep.”
Next, the dentist hooks the patient up to a very mild form of electrical stimulation.
Then the patient listens to classical music embedded with a beat that puts him or her into Alpha Stage, the first stage of sleep, a kind of hypnosis.
Finally, dark glasses are given to the patient to block out all light.
Jen Moyer, a patient of Stall’s who admitted detesting the dentist because of the smells and sounds, said she was very anxious when she arrived, but the process soon put her to ease.
“I felt pretty relaxed,” she said after receiving the treatment. “I really can’t believe I’m saying that.”
Dr. Stall said the cost of Nu-Calm is about $75 dollars, and it’s not covered by insurance.
Experts say that taken in small doses, the supplements are likely safe, although they’re not regulated by the FDA.