Even though it can’t actually help healing the body, hypnosis is used in dentistry as a separate technique meant to offer a very wide set of benefits before, during, and after various treatments. Most of the treatments come with a certain degree of trauma, and hypnosis can help both the patient and the physician along the way by reducing or even terminating various traumas. Here are a few common uses of hypnosis in dentistry; keep in mind that this list is very limited and that practices and beliefs vary a lot.
Before the treatment
Hypnosis is an excellent solution to reducing anxiety and fear related to dental treatments. In some rare cases, patients undergo a series of sessions only to ensure the reduction of fear associated to pain. In most other cases however, a couple of sessions should suffice. Distress is another condition widely treated with hypnosis, but this may be subject to prolonged therapy in order to ensure efficiency in the short and long run.
During the treatment
Hypnosis solutions during dental treatment are by far the most numerous:
- Inducing a state of calmness and relaxation during the treatment;
- Reducing the pain to a certain degree. This particular technique is actually used in many medical fields, including recurring diseases and conditions, and during giving birth.
- Controlling the way patients keep their mouths open during dental treatments;
- Controlling salivation and the position of the tongue;
- Reducing the effect of the environment of patients by making them less sensitive to various sounds, smells, textures, etc.;
- Inducing an adequate posture by reducing body tension;
- Reducing the perception of pain;
- Reducing various somatic reactions, such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, faintness, etc.;
- Controlling hemostasis.
After the treatment
When used after the treatment, hypnosis can make patients more comfortable with the general effects of the treatment and stimulate a state of general wellbeing.
Today, hypnosis techniques used in dentistry are particularly widespread in Europe, Japan, and the USA and Canada and they gain more and more attention due to the obvious effects they have on most patients. However, one should keep in mind the fact that such techniques are not meant to completely revoke pain and discomfort, even though in some cases they do manage to do that.