NuCalm – Drug-free Dental Sedation

Dr. Shapira Blog, Sleep, TMJ 0 Comments

Afraid of the dentist? Now you can relax!

NuCalm, drug free dental sedation, Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, Morthon Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, Vernon Hills, Wilmette, Winnetka, IlDo you have anxiety when you go to the dentist? The truth is that many people have an innate dental fear, primarily because they are afraid of painful dental treatment. It is a common anxiety issue with practically all dental patients to some extent, and dentists have dealt professionally with this problem for many years.

NuCalm brings an advancement in relaxation therapy to provide an dental sedation option that works without drugs. Here’s how:

Step 1: Dietary supplements

The first component of Nucalm anxiety relief therapy is providing dietary supplements for the patient to chew for helping reduce the adrenaline associated with anxiety and fear. This takes about 3-5 minutes to take effect. There is no narcotic substance included in the supplements, but there is a Nucalm company proprietary chemical included that is not classified as a controlled substance.

Step 2: Ear patches and headphones

Stimulation patches are next applied behind the ears allowing the relaxation sensation to be more effective. Headphones are then put over the ears, and relaxing music is programmed through the headset to further enhance the relaxation therapy before actually beginning the dental treatment. This combination is used for a few more minutes.

Step 3: Sunglasses

The dentist will then provide a pair of sunglasses to block distracting lighting that the patient will obviously notice while inclined in the dentist chair. This allows the patient to further relax while the dentist is preparing to work on the patient’s teeth.

Positive results of all ages

The results of the Nucalm combination have been very positive for all dentists who have taken the step to offer relaxation and anxiety reduction therapy to their patients. It has been particularly effective for all age groups and can help reduce fear that children experience anytime they go to the dentist. Anxiety and fear often begin well in advance of the actual appointment day, especially for children.

It is important to remember this process is not intended to replace local numbing agents or applied anesthesia in serious dental treatment processes. But, it can help relieve the anxiety before the actual anesthesia is administered. One thing is clear about the success of this new approach. It means that anxiety levels can be reduced in the patient, and it also means that the dentist will not need to deal with patients that are overly anxious by nature, allowing the dentist to also relax while working.

Is NuCalm for you?

If you would like to learn more about NuCalm, please send us an email.

What is TMJ?

Dr. Shapira Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, TMJ - General, TMJ Dentist, TMJ Doctor, TMJ Pain, TMJ Specialist, TMJ Symptoms, TMJ Treatment, Vernon Hills, Wilmette, Winnetka 10 Comments

What is TMJ? Learn more about it!


Everyone experiences occasional headaches, shoulder pain, or sore neck. Most of the time we can dismiss the cause as nothing more than stress or our busy lives, but, when pain becomes a daily occurrence or is accompanied by other symptoms, there could be something more going on.

If you are suffering from undiagnosed, chronic pain, TMJ may be the reason. But what is TMJ, and why does it cause pain?

How does your TMJ work?

TMJ is an abbreviated term for the temporomandibular joint also known as your jaw joint. Other abbreviations; TMD for Temporomandibular Disorder and TMJD for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, are also accepted and used interchangeably  to refer to the pain, disorder or dysfunction of this joint and other affected areas surrounding it.

Like all of the wonderfully complex parts of our bodies, the temporomandibular joint is designed for smooth, continuous and pain-free operation. These two essential joints work in unison to allow you to:

  • bite
  • speak
  • chew
  • sing
  • yawn
  • laugh
  • talk

In fact, for your jaw to do everything you need it to, it must be able to open close, move forward and back and from side to side.

The bones of your joints do not work alone. To move, each of your ball and socket jaw joints are cushioned by a disc and surrounded by the muscles, ligaments and nerves that make them work.

What causes jaw problems?

While TMJ causes are not always clear, they are often be related to specific events or life changes, including:

  • uneven dentistry
  • direct injury to the temporomandibular joint
  • ongoing stress resulting in bruxism and clenching of the jaw
  • shifting or missing teeth
  • a misaligned jaw or underdeveloped jaw due to genetics or childhood breathing problems
  • arthritis
  • sleep disorders, especially sleep disordered breathing

Where does the pain come from?

Since the TM joint consists of so many interdependent parts, if even one piece is out of commission, stressed or damaged in some way, the rest of the connecting parts are affected. This includes the part of our nervous system that is responsible for providing input to the brain for as much as 40 percent of the human head and face.

The nerve, specifically called the trigeminal nerve is of great interest to the physiologic dentist evaluating and treating TMJ disorders. As the name implies, there are three branches to this nerve, and they are connected with many of the functions of the TM joint, including:

  • Routine chewing functions of the upper and lower jaw
  • Swallowing
  • Breathing
  • Talking
  • Kissing
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Sinuses
  • Teeth

Even though TMJ pain directly communicates through the trigeminal nerve structures, it may also result in referred pain to certain locations in the head and neck.  Almost 100% of all headaches  and migraines, as well as sinus pain are mediated primarily by the trigeminal nerve.  Symptoms of referred pain may include the following symptoms:

  • Frequent morning headaches or migraines
  • Grinding, clicking or popping noise in the TM joints
  • Dizziness
  • Neck, shoulder or back pain
  • Tinnitus

Learn more about TMJ

DentistTMJ is a complex disorder. Effective treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis.

If you would like to find out if TMJ is at the root of your chronic pain, take our TMJ questionnaire or, better yet, come in for a consultation.