Electrotherapy Stimulation (The Alpha-Stim SCS)
Until now most aids for the anxious patient have been drug related - such as
sedation and in extreme cases general anesthesia.
A new device from the United States shows much promise in providing the
anxious patient with drug free relaxation.
The device (The Alpha-Stim SCS) functions by passing an electric waveform
through the brain. This is quite painless and consists of nothing more than
a couple of electrode ear clips. The patient is in control of the current
and can increase or decrease it as desired. The control unit is a palm sized
The effect produced is a feeling of wellbeing, relaxation and body
The author of these pages has recently tested the device for the journal,
Dental Practice, and has found a tremendous response with his anxious
Advantages with this system are that as soon as it is switched off the
effect is instantly reversible. The patient is able to drive straight home
afterwards and resume their normal daily activities. This is in contrast to
drug induced solutions such as sedative techniques where the effects of the
drugs require hours to wear off.
Although the use of this technique in dentistry is in its early days it is
already showing good promise and attracting a fair amount of attention.
With such good results I am very keen to see the more widespread use of this
technology in the dental care of anxious patients.
Dr. Stuart M. Ellis, BDS, DPDS, MFGDP (UK)
This material is reproduced with the permission of
Electromedical Products International, Inc. © 2006