Mr ABC was 9 years old when a dentist failed to anesthetize a back molar properly and hit a nerve dead-on. The result was a lifelong fear of dentists that reached a peak in his twenties, when he stopped going to the dentist entirely. “I couldn’t even drive by a dentist’s office without getting stressed out,” he tells.
MR XYZ was 38 when a chipped back molar began to decay, eventually causing him constant pain. “I was paralyzed. I couldn’t even consider going [to the dentist’s office],” says XYZ, an Internet entrepreneur. “It was much easier to accept the pain, sick as that sounds.”
Few people look forward to a spell in the dentist’s chair. But serious anxiety prevents millions of INDIAN from seeking proper preventative care. The consequences of this problem may go far beyond dental pain or lost teeth. Gum disease is a serious infection that can affect other parts of the body. Studies now link it to illnesses including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Fortunately, many dentists are specially trained in handling fearful patients; a variety of methods and treatments are available to reduce pain and alleviate fear in the dentist’s chair.
The ‘Root’ Causes
Research study says that between 5% and 8% people avoid dentists out of fear.
A higher percentage, perhaps 20%, experiences enough anxiety that they will go to the dentist only when absolutely necessary.
Fear of dentists stems not so much from the experience of pain as from the lack of control that patients experience in the dentist’s chair, says Ellen Rodino, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., who has studied dental fear. “You’re lying prone, a dentist is hovering above you, and he’s putting you in a situation where you can hardly talk or respond. That creates a lot of anxiety for some people because they don’t feel in control.”
Homeopathic Applications in Dentistry
Homeopathy can still be beneficial to the patient before, during, and after dental treatment. Certain remedies are indicated for specific tissue types or specific pathological processes. For example, in the case of an abscess, Hepar sulph or Silica should be considered whereas, if there is an inflammatory process, Hypericum or Belladona would be indicated. Many dental complaints are self-limiting, meaning that the problem passes on its own. The goal of homeopathic dentistry is to allow the process to pass quickly and more comfortably; the main concern is the morbidity of a condition and its influence on the patient’s daily life.
To return to the above example of wisdom teeth, there are not many dental options for treatment other than antibiotics and/or painkillers, to allow the discomfort to resolve, followed by extraction. Alternatively, a well chosen homeopathic remedy will, in a short time, allow full recovery from discomfort, and provide time for the tooth to erupt further into the mouth, following which a decision can be made as to whether extraction is required, (which it often is). Even if the tooth still does require removal, the further it has erupted into the mouth, the less invasive or traumatic the extraction will be. There is also the possibility, albeit uncommon, that the tooth may erupt fully into the mouth and not require extraction.
The following information is provided as adjunctive first-aid remedies to help alleviate the pain or discomfort of common dental emergencies until proper dental care can be obtained. These recommended remedial measures are not intended to replace good dental care, but rather to function as a safe, effective and conservative form of emergency and post-operative treatment.
Fear of Going to the Dentist
- Aconite: When an individual experiences fear with a sudden onset of panic (about an upcoming dental visit) accompanied by physical and emotional restlessness. (Potency 12C – Five pellets the night before, the morning of and 45 minutes before dental appointment)
- Gelsemium: For dental fears that are accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, sleepy feeling or “weak knees.” (Potency 12C – Three pellets the night before, the morning of and 45 minutes before dental appointment)
Acute Dental Problems
- Arnica: Inflammation and trauma from routine dental procedures. Included in this category are post-operative swelling from injections, extraction of teeth, gum surgery, preparation of teeth, soreness following insertion of new full or partial dentures. (Potency 30C – three to five pellets every 20 minutes until symptoms subside).
- Hypericum: For nerve pain, post-operative surgery (tooth extraction or gum work), toothache, sore dentures, accidental facial trauma. (Potency 9C – three to five pellets every 30 minutes until symptoms subside)
- Myristrica sebifera Prevention of abscesses. To be taken 15 minutes prior to any invasive dental or surgical procedure. (Potency 6C – five pellets 15 minutes prior to procedure)
- Belladonna: For sudden onset of a gum or tooth abscess that is accompanied by redness, inflammation and throbbing which is aggravated by the slightest touch. (Potency 6C – three to five pellets every 1/2 to one hour intervals until symptoms subside)
- Ferrum Phos: For post-surgical bleeding following an extraction or gum surgery that is not controlled by pressure with a moist gauze pad. (Potency 6C – three to five pellets every 15 minutes to a 1/2 hour until bleeding is controlled)
- Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum: Ideally suited for a beginning dental abscess when accompanied by pus formation, increased salivation and where the gums are tender to the touch and bleed easily. (Potency 6C – Repeated doses of five pellets every four hours will encopurage the pus to discharge and drain; higher potencies like 30X to 200X will supress pus formation)
- Silicea: Used to enhance the drainage of pus.(Potency 6C – five pellets every four hours)
- Myristica: Indicated when the abscess is swollen and accompanied by numbness of the area as is often the case with wisdom teeth problems. (Potency 6C – five pellets four times a day)
- Ledum: Excellent remedy for the post-trauma effects of dental injections. (Potency 30C – three to five pellets every hour until symptoms abate)
- Staphysagria: Indicated for incisions of soft tissues such as periodontal flap procedures, impacted third molars where access flaps must be performed or periodontal graft procedures.(Potency 30C – five pellets every 30 minutes until symptoms abate)
- Apis mellifica: Used for sudden and rapid onset of swelling accompanied by pink edema, pricking and burning pains. (Potency 9C – five pellets every hour until symptoms abate)
- Chamomilla: Ideal for delayed and difficult tooth eruptions and for a whiney child who is restless and wants to be held and pampered. (Potency 12C – three pellets every 1/2 to one hour until symptoms subside)
- Hypericum: Well suited for the nerve pain associated with tooth eruption. (Potency 9C – five pellets every 1/2 hour until symptoms subside.
Oral Herpes Lesions
- Graphites 7C, Petroleum 9C, Rhus Toxicodendron 7C and Arsenicum album 7C: All four medicines are utilized to help resolve this painful lesion. (Potency for each of the four remedies – three pellets each, three times a day at 30 minute intervals)
- Belladonna: Appropriate when the toothache is accompanied by throbbing pain and is worse from motion, touch or chewing. (Potency 15C – three pellets every 1/2 to one hour until symptoms subside)
- Magnesia phosphorica: Works well with toothaches that are worse with cold and relieved by heat. (Potency 9C – five pellets every 30 minutes until symptoms abate)
- Coffea cruda: Works with toothaches that are worse from heat and relieved by cold. (Potency 9C – three pellets every 30 minutes until symptoms abate)
- Aconitum napellus: Indicated for unbearable pain accompanied by anxiety, restlessness that comes on suddenly and where movement worsens the condition. The pain is sharp and tearing in nature. Represents a severe pulpitis or inflammation of the nerve of the tooth. (Potency 7C – five pellets every 15 or 20 minutes until pain subsides)
Severe Trismus (muscle spasms)
- Hypericum Perforatum: Excellent for the prevention of muscle spasms.(Potency 9C – three pellets every hour until symptoms abate)
- Cuprum Metallicum: This remedy is ideal once the muscle spasms start. (Potency 9C -three pellets every 20 minutes until abated)
General Guidelines to Increase the effectiveness of Homeopathic Remedies
- Homeopathic remedies should not be touched. They must be taken directly from the container into the mouth.
- They should be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve.
- No food should be taken either twenty minutes before or after the remedies are taken.
- Avoid taking coffee, tea or mint during use of homeopathic remedies. These substances have the potential of neutralizing the effects of the remedies.
- Do not store the homeopathic remedies in areas that contain such products as ether, camphor, perfumes or other highly volatile substances. These types product will neutralize the homeopathic remedies.
- When the symptoms start to abate or resolve, discontinue the homeopathic remedy.
Even though the homeopathic medicines help to alleviate your problem, you are strongly advised, as soon as possible, to seek the services of a competent dental physician.
- Peter Milgrom, DDS, director, Dental Fears Research Clinic, University of Washington, Seattle.
- Jack Bynes, DMD, Coventry, Conn.
- Ronald Kleinknecht, PhD, dean, Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.
- Emergency Dental Care: Diagnosis and Management of Urgent Dental Problems
- Dental Diseases Differential Diagnosis 1st Edition
- Harrison, Text book of Medicine
- Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics : Dr E. B. Nash
- Clinical MateriaMedica-E.A. Farrington
- Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia media-William Boericke
- Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica-JH Clarke