Hypnosis in Dentistry is a lesser known concept to the General Dentists, but there has been positive feedback from patients and Dentists who have implemented Hypnosis in their Dental practice. Hypnosis in Dentistry is termed as “Hypnodontia” and it is used to relieve the patients of their Fear and Anxiety in general and also make it easier for the dentists to finish their job faster and in a relaxed manner. Hypnodontics has been first documented in the 1800’s when hypnosis in dentistry was performed in 1829 to help in tooth extraction by easing fear and help in attaining Analgesia.
There are two types of Hypnosis – Deep Hypnosis ( which is harder to achieve and used rarely in Dentistry) the other one is Light Hypnosis which is the one used in dentistry or Hypnodontia. Light Hypnosis is faster to achieve and it serves the purpose of relieving a nervous patient of their Anxiety or Dental Fear. With its use in the upcoming years there have been many advancements which have helped prove Hypnosis in Dentistry a very useful asset in relieving patients of Dental anxiety and Dental Phobia. It stands as a non-pharmacological option to treat Dental Anxiety which required the use of Medications like Beta-Blockers to relieve Anxiety.
Hypnosis can be useful in two ways, helping patients calm down during their treatment and helping the Dentist in saving time. Many people have been known to stay away from Dentists out of Fear and Anxiety and Hypodontia is one such tool which can help in controlling the phobia or Anxiety of Patients in a Dental setting. According to data collected from Dentists who have included Hypnosis in their Daily practice have experienced these changes in their Practice –
1) Reduced sense of Fear and Anxiety in Patient
2) Reduced perception of pain severity during dental procedures
3) Reduced Bleeding during treatment
4) Reduced Salivation
5) Increased responsiveness of patients
6) Achieve Dental Anesthesia without administering any injection
7) Control Gag Reflex
8) Controlling Trigeminal neuralgia pain
9) Benign chronic orofacial pain
10) Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
Other Dental problems with which Hypnosis was found to be beneficial was in conditions like –
1) Habits – Thumb or Finger sucking
3) Lip biting
4) Nail biting
5) Other Behavioral modifications
Hypnodontics Procedure – Steps to achieve Hypnosis in Dental Clinic
According to studies and people who are advocating Hypnodontics, the procedure is divided into 7 types – Mind set or indoctrination, Testing, Introduction, Deepening, Utilization or operation, posthypnodontic suggestions, Dehypnodontics or termination.
1)Mind set or indoctrination: It is the initial steps which help in achieving the bond between the patient and doctor before any hypnotic procedure is performed
2) Testing: As the name suggests, it is the testing phase where the patient is assessed or determined whether hypnosis will be useful or not on the patient. It is used to determine the susceptibility of the patient to hypnosis.
3) Introduction: It is the actual first step which is used to induce Hypnosis, there are two methods in Introducing Hypnosis – Direct way which is done with the patients awareness and Indirect method which does not involve patients awareness.
4) Deepening: After initial initiation of Hypnosis is achieved which is usually enough for Dental procedures, in case more deep hypnosis is needed the Deepening phase is utilized which might require multiple sessions to achieve.
5) Utilization or operation: This is the phase where the achieved Hypnosis is utilized by performing the dental procedures or whatever it is required for.
6) Posthypnodontic suggestions: It is the step where the patient is slowly brought out of Hypnosis and a term used is Locking the unconscious as during this phase the patient can be exploited by others.
7) Dehypnodontics or termination: This is the step where the patient is completely out of the Hypnotic state and is back to his/her fully coordinated state. This is when the patient is allowed to leave the Dental clinic or office.
Hypnodontics or Hypnosis in Dentistry even after being used in Dentistry from the past 60 years is a relatively new subject to most Dentists across the globe. The main hindrances being the procedure being time taking and the willingness or acceptance of patients to get Hypnotized is quite challenging. Hope Hypnodontics is practiced more in Dental Clinics with more and more practitioners becoming trained in Hypnosis to help patients more.