Some things were never meant to be comfortable.
There’s no such thing as a comfortable hangnail or a smooth ankle fracture, just like there’s no such thing as a comfortable dentist’s chair. Something about having a stranger’s fingers and sharp metal tools touching the old chompers just doesn’t gel.
For most, dental phobia is just a pair of words. For others, dental phobia is a five-syllable truth. But, for Dr. Lise Kalinski of Aesthetic Dental, it’s a chance to stand out.
Kalinski is one of three dentists in Canada to be certified as a NuCalm Provider.
NuCalm is a relaxation technology that utilizes a topical cream, which the patient applies to the muscles of the neck; micro-current stimulation pads placed roughly over the lymph nodes; neuro-acoustic classical music to calm the noodle and dark-tinted sunglasses to reduce light exposure.
Essentially, NuCalm seeks to block or mitigate those pesky senses from invading the minds of anxious dental patients. While that was the system’s original intent, it has since been adopted by athletes, cancer patients and veterans with PTSD.
“I use NuCalm myself every morning before leaving for work,” Kalinski told The Morning Star. “I have sleep issues and a one-hour NuCalm session prepares me for a long work day requiring constant concentration. NuCalm makes it easier for everyone: patients are less fidgety, there’s less swallowing and that makes my work easier with fewer interruptions. Once they embrace and try it, they’re in.”
Admittedly, I was skeptical when I heard about NuCalm. However, much to my chagrin, sitting in the dentist’s chair is about the worst thing I can imagine. Naturally, the first thing I did was call Kalinski and set up an appointment for myself.
On dental checkup day, the classic symptoms arose: clammy hands, weak knees, churning stomach and all the other fun benefits stress has on the ol’ meat suit.
From the moment you enter Aesthetic Dental, however, you’re met with something a little different. Instead of the drab and yawn-inducing white laboratory walls, Kalinski’s shop is rooted in what appears to be an old home on 32nd Avenue. The classic dentist’s office smell still permeates the premises, but it’s somehow less invasive and more inviting.
The receptionist is all smiles as she gets you set up with the hygienist who takes you to your private room and quintessential green chair.
After the obligatory small talk and essential X-rays, the hygienist sets you up with NuCalm. You spread the cream on your neck and she wires you up for relaxation. And then it begins.
The lights are dim and the music smooth and soothing. Less saliva forms in your mouth as they’re doing the dirty work and the cleaning is over in a tick.
You still feel the instruments scraping your bites and hear the resulting sounds but they’re subdued.
NuCalm doesn’t make sitting in the chair as enjoyable as digging your toes into the hot sand on the beach, but it gives you something to focus on and calms the senses.
And for that, NuCalm is a success.
Kalinski offers NuCalm to all patients free of charge. To book an appointment or free consultation, contact Aesthetic Dental at 250-558-9889.