Dentistry, Meditation and Alpha-Waves: A Drug Free Approach to Dental Anxiety

Happy Spring!  The weather is beautiful, the flowers are blooming and many of us are doing our spring cleaning preparation for a wonderful summer.  I’m excited to share that we too will be doing some “Spring cleaning” by renovating our office.  Stay tuned for events, promotions, and details announcing completion of our patient centered facility and equipment  renovation.

This month I would like to talk about…. DENTAL ANXIETY- (All caps spoken in a loud scary voice.)  I’m joking but dental anxiety is serious.  Some estimate that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe.   Approximately 5 to 10 percent of U.S. adults are considered to experience dental phobia; that is, they are so fearful of receiving dental treatment that they avoid dental care at all costs.  Many dentally fearful people will only seek dental care when they have a dental emergency, such as a toothache or dental abscess.  People who are very fearful of dental care often experience a “cycle of avoidance,” in which they avoid dental care due to fear until they experience a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment, which can reinforce their fear of dentistry.

Along with conscious oral sedation medications and nitrous sedation techniques we are now utilizing an exciting technology to help improve the patient dental experience.   The device is called Alpha-Stim.

The longer I live here in Ashland the more people I meet that are quick to testify of the feelings of wellness associated with some kind of “meditation” practice.  The ritual, process, and/ or narrative associated with the meditation vary but what is common in these groups is the predominant brain wave that is elicited in the practitioners: Alpha waves.

Alpha waves are often more active in our brains when we rest, day dream, meditate, sleep, and relax.  They are thought to be connected with an increase in serotonin release which among other things results in an overall feeling of “wellness and/or positivity.”

At Jones Family Dental we are able to use a device to safely stimulate alpha waves allowing the mind and body to relax, ultimately reducing anxiety and fear.  A single 20-60 minute Alpha-Stim treatment can lead to patient relaxation, increased patient’s comfort, and reduce gag reflex.  Alpha-Stim can induce muscle relaxation in the head and neck area thus creating a more optimal working environment for the provider.  Alpha-Stim can be invaluable as a non-drug/non-surgical treatment for TMD, neck pain and headaches.  Alpha-Stim can also be used very successfully to control pain associated with orthodontic procedures.   The immediate effect is wonderful but unlike a medication that may leave you “impaired” and require time away from work and a helper to give you a ride, Alpha-stim’s relaxing effect ends as soon as the device is removed, while the serotonin released has a lasting positive effect.

The efficacy and safety of Alpha-Stim® is backed by more than 60 research studies. Most of the studies were double-blind placebo controlled and were conducted at major US universities. At present, there are over 126 research studies on this technology in humans and 29 experimental animal studies. The overwhelming majority of the scientific research is extremely positive. No significant lasting side effects have been reported.

Post-marketing surveys show that more than 90% of pain patients achieve clinically significant relief with Alpha-Stim®, even when conventional intervention has failed. In a survey of 47 physicians reporting on 500 patients, Alpha-Stim® treatments produced clinically significant results (at least 25% improvement) in 92% of patients for pain management, 94% for anxiety, 90% for depression, 93% for stress, 79% for insomnia, 90% for headaches, and 95% for muscle tension. Nearly half of the patients in all categories had 75 to 100% relief.

With more than 60 published clinical studies, reviews, numerous case reports and the results of post-marketing clinical surveys, Alpha-Stim® has been firmly established as a safe, effective and highly-cost effective treatment modality.

This is just another example of how we look to improve patient experience at Jones Family Dental.  Best wishes and have a wonderful spring!

Please check our links to learn more and feel free to call our office to schedule a more relaxing dental experience.

Alpha-Stim References:

What are people saying about Jones Family Dental?

I am surprising myself by describing my experience at Jones Family Dental as enjoyable. As a person that has always dreaded going to the dentist, Dr. Jones and his staff have changed my experience completely. From the moment I walked in the door I felt comfortable and well taken care of. Dr. Jones’ is knowledgeable, uses the best technology available, and is committed to providing the best and most appropriate care for all his patients. Glad I switched my family’s care to Jones Family Dental!
-Libby E.

Dr. Jones is personable and provides high-quality care in a friendly, clean and comfortable office. The staff is great–everyone is friendly and efficient, and the hygienist is thorough and gentle and explains what she does and why. Excellent follow-up as well. Very professional all around.
-Robynne W.

I moved to Ashland from a large city, and I’ve had problems finding medical professionals of the caliber that I’m used to. Jones Family Dental not only meets my high expectations, it exceeds them by introducing me to new technologies that my dentists back in the City didn’t even know about. Really. Did you know that lower level cavities can be filled now without numbing half your face? My SF dentist didn’t, but Dr. Jones did. It was amazing. And completely painless. Lastly: the hygienist there is wonderful and delightful company.
-Edward W.

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