Electrotherapy May Be The Answer to Dental Phobia, Researchers Say

teethScientists believe sending tiny electrical currents into the brain could help solve people’s terrifying phobia of the dentist,”¬†Express¬†reports. “Experts said a handheld device which transmits cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) reduced anxiety among those with a long fear of dentists.”

Researchers divided patients with severe dental phobias into four groups. One group practiced relaxation therapy techniques. Another received electrotherapy. A third group underwent both relaxation and electrotherapy, and a final, control group received no special treatment or therapy at all. “Relaxation therapy involved patients spending 30 minutes with a specialist trainer who taught them exercises to help lower anxiety levels. The [cranial electrotherapy stimulation] CES worked just as well as the relaxation therapy after 45 minutes,”¬†Expresscontinues.

How does it work? Tiny electrical signals stimulate nerve cells in the brain. In turn, these nerve cells produce acetylcholine and serotonin — or, in other words, chemicals responsible for reducing stress. Healthcare professionals use similar treatments to ease pregnant women’s stress- and pain-related symptoms.

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