Dental treatment has come a long way in terms of pain control, management of disease and decay and aesthetic results.
Learn to Smile Again
It was only a generation or two ago that teeth were removed and replaced by dentures in young adults to save them the pain of decay. And braces were the badge of the plain, buck- toothed child who suffered the discomfort and indignity of tight wires and teasing.
Dentists these days are highly trained to avoid hurting you. They have equipment and medication designed to create and maintain healthy, shiny, attractive teeth and gums. But the horror of tortures past commonly keeps us away from the dentist’s chair until the agony of neglect overcomes the fear.
Hypnosis reduces pain intensity
Analysis of the simple-simple main effects, holding both group and condition constant, revealed that application of hypnotic analgesia reduced report of pain intensity significantly more than report of pain unpleasantness.
Dahlgren LA, Kurtz RM, Strube MJ, Malone MD, Differential effects of hypnotic suggestion on multiple dimensions of pain. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 1995; 10(6): 464-70.
Hypnosis reduces anxiety
A recent ‘Clinical Review’ of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded: ‘There is good evidence from randomised controlled trials that both hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety […]‘, the same report also concluded that hypnosis was proven to be effective in treating panic attacks and phobia.
(Vickers and Zollman, ‘Hypnosis and relaxation therapies’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349)
It’s only when a smoker is confronted with the reality of their mouldering gums that they realise they must quit smoking or live with a diseased mouth that will never heal. A sufferer of dental phobia who avoids treatment because of trauma when they were a toddler will be eating pureed baby food as pensioners if they don’t learn to overcome their fears. The fleeting discomfort during treatment is nothing compared to chronic pain or the Build Confidence-crushing grimace of a rotten smile.
Routine and Stress Free
Of course, dental visits can be uncomfortable but there are plenty of worse things and people with dental phobia often freely admit their fear is irrational. Knowing it is irrational though, does not help. The emotional response is much more powerful than mere thought and hypnotherapy is an amazingly effective way of changing that response.
Despite being so powerful and distressing, dental phobias are easy to treat with hypnotherapy and, the great thing is, the cure is completely pleasant and even enjoyable. Quite simply, it removes the fear and anxiety from your subconscious mind so visits to the dentist will become routine and stress-free.
Conditions treatable with hypnotherapy include:
- Hypersensitive gag reflex
- Dental fear associated with a previously traumatic experience
- Needle phobia
- White coat phobia (fear of dentists/doctors)
- Alteration of pain awareness (in conjunction with conventional anaesthesia)
- Control of salivation
- Vascular control, clotting and normal healing
- Flossing and oral hygiene
Often, just two hour-long sessions are enough to help with and dental treatment and remove any fear or distress. And once you are calm and relaxed, your dentist can work more efficiently and effectively to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy and free of decay, disease and infection.