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Calming the Nerves: Understanding Sedation and Relaxation

The Ramones famously sang, “I wanna be sedated,” and for millions of patients undergoing dental procedures each year, that’s certainly a common sentiment. Sedation not only numbs the pain of your procedure, but it also puts you into a peaceful state of mind. Of course, sedation isn’t always the way to go. In fact, there are alternatives to sedation that can leave you feeling just as peaceful and relaxed as sedation but without the side effects.

At our practice, Dr. Morgan uses a system called NuCalm. NuCalm is useful for everything from cleanings to more involved procedures. For example, if you have odontophobia (fear of the dentist) and even regular dental exams cause anxiety, you cannot be put under for your cleaning – but you can relax with NuCalm. 

In addition to NuCalm, there are many ways you can promote relaxation and calm during your time at the dentist without being sedated with pharmaceuticals. Here are just a few ideas to help make your next trip to Dr. Morgan’s office a pleasant one, no matter what you’re having done.

What Is Sedation?

Sedation is a term used to describe general anesthesia to put you to sleep during your dental procedure. While there are different levels of sedation, most require pharmaceuticals or nitrous oxide to work. NuCalm is a natural alternative that doesn’t require pharmaceuticals that may cause adverse reactions, and most patients find it just as effective as medicated methods of relaxation.


NuCalm is a safe, natural tablet that effectively reduces your adrenaline levels, relieving your dental fears and helping you to relax without medication.

First, you chew on a NuCalm tablet, which helps you relax. Next, a patch is applied behind your ear, which enhances the effects of the tablet by providing subtle stimulation that will help speed up the relaxation process. Patients using NuCalm are also issued dark glasses to dim the brightness of the lights we use during the procedure and lessen any distractions occurring around you. Finally, you’re issued noise-canceling headphones with calming music to help keep the relaxation going.

Drug-Free Relaxation Ideas

In addition to NuCalm, there are many things you can do to help relax while you’re in the dentist’s chair if you want an alternative or if you want to add an extra level of relaxation. Here are just a few ideas.

Essential Oils

There are many ways to diffuse calming essential oils, including dabbing them on like perfume or wearing jewelry that diffuses them for you. Calming scents like lavender may help promote calm while you are undergoing your procedure at Dr. Morgan’s office. 

Deep Breathing

Practicing deep breathing techniques is an easy, free and very effective way to promote full-body relaxation, and it can be very helpful during oral care procedures because all it requires you to do is breathe. It can also help in everyday life, like when you’re stuck in traffic or in that meeting that totally could have been an email!


Meditation is another easy and free way to promote relaxation during your visit to the dentist. Feel free to close your eyes and find your inner peace while we take care of your oral health needs. Don’t worry – we’ll let you know if we need you to do anything while you’re relaxing.

Stress Toys

You know those neat little stress balls and fidget toys your kids like so much? Well, they not only feel pretty cool, but they can also be very useful when you’re trying to reduce your stress levels. Use a comfort object or stress ball to occupy your hands and mind while you undergo your procedure.

How to Know If You Should Try NuCalm

The best way to know if you need a relaxation technique or NuCalm is to discuss your fears and your procedure with Dr. Morgan. He can guide you in the best direction and determine a course of action that works for everyone.

Remember, Dr. Morgan and the team want you to feel comfortable at all times, no matter what procedure you are undergoing with us. If you have any fears about a procedure, please let us know as early as possible so we can collaborate with you on a solution that will help you feel less apprehensive.

To learn more, please contact the office today.