Tools of the trade: NuCalm

NuCalm is great for most patients except those who are severely dental phobic.
NuCalm is great for most patients except those who are severely dental phobic.

by Dr Dinesh Singham, Absolutely Dental, Townsville, QLD


Our practice has a lot of nervous patients so anything that makes life easier for us and them is great. NuCalm claims to counteract adrenaline and cortisone—the two things that create nerves and anxiety.


What’s good about it

NuCalm puts the patient into a pre-sleep mode before treatment commences. First, the patient takes two tablets. They contain two chemicals that the body produces before you go to sleep. Next, a set of headphones is positioned over the ears. The music is at slightly different speeds in each ear which causes the brain to take the difference between the two. This means the brain registers, say, 10 bpm which in turn slows down the brainwaves. Finally, the patient is fitted with dark glasses to block out most of the light and stop further stimulation to the brain.

Anesthetic is used as normal but the patient is in a very relaxed state. The great thing about it, especially compared to valium, is that there’s no drug hangover. As soon as they sit up and take the glasses off, they’re fine. They can drive straight afterwards.

While NuCalm is fantastic for nervous patients, it’s also great for patients receiving a lot of treatment. Time passes a lot slower for them. I’ve worked on patients for an hour and a half and afterwards they’ll think they were in the chair for 20 minutes.


What’s not so good

The tablets are quite large and need to be chewed. We sometimes crush the tablets beforehand but even then, some patients just don’t like the taste. NuCalm is ineffective with extremely phobic patients.


Where did you get it

Fiona Hunt (email her on


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