Does sitting in the dentist’s office make you anxious? Or perhaps the smell and sound of the ongoing treatments in the other room make you feel sick in your stomach?
Dental fear is a universal problem prevalent among the general populace, despite the relief measures and awareness among professionals. It may stem from a variety of past experiences and embarrassing teeth or stories told by others that make you panic and choke with fear.
In the midst of it all, the relevance of psychology and behavioural sciences to dental training and clinical practices is highly justified. Pharmacological sedation has been used in dental procedures for more than two decades to relieve the anxiety and phobia of patients for safe and smooth dental procedures.
Among these amazing psychological procedures, hypnosis is still an underused but powerful non-pharmaceutical method used by cosmetic and family dentists in the field. It provides effective sedation while maintaining patient collaboration enabling them to recover from dental anxiety and phobia.
But the question now appears is how professionals use hypnosis in dentistry. Before moving forward with the how, let’s understand what hypnosis actually means.
What is hypnosis?
It can be a little complex to describe hypnosis in some words. It is the quieting of the human consciousness and can help control your fear, anxieties, and phobias.
With the use of hypnosis, it is easier for professionals to access your subconscious mind. As the dentist proceeds with the process, you will go into a deep trance-like state while reducing the awareness of the person’s mind. While you are still conscious, your attention is diverted to something different: a fantasy, an activity, or a feeling.
It can be said that hypnosis can help a person in tackling dental phobia. People are often skeptical about this process concerning safety of the process, but this process can help a patient stop focusing on their fear internally. As said above, it causes a distraction and enables the patient to focus on a different thing, such as a pen or even their hands.
Why use hypnosis in dentistry?
There are many people who suffer from a fear of going to the dentist’s office. They suffer from anxiety when it comes to a bi-annual checkup, and some even suffer from a dentist’s phobia.
With the help of hypnosis in practicing dentistry, it can help get rid of the dentist’s phobia and treat chronic dental diseases. As said above, hypnosis mutes all the irrational thoughts in the conscious human mind while calming their nerves and anxious state of mind. It can create a feeling of calm and confidence- enabling you to get through the appointment without choking on your anxiety. This doesn’t only help the patients but also enables the dentists to go through a smooth dental procedure.
When employing hypnosis in the field, you will be taught how to relax through the use of visualization. Hypnosis also has a number of stages, which means you will not be pushed into doing something you don’t feel comfortable with. It also results in lowering blood pressure, which helps in a speedy recovery for the patient.
While hypnosis is an important method to overcome dental anxieties, it is also important to take note that not all phobias are the same. Where some may be anxious about the smells and noises, while others may fear needles and lack control over themselves. Not just that, there is a possibility that these phobias might have led to terrible experiences in the past.
The power of self-hypnosis
If you haven’t tried self-hypnosis until now, it is worthwhile to give it a try. It is an ideal therapy for individuals who suffer from mild fears and phobias—self-hypnosis can help you to shift your focus from the fear you feel to something imaginative.
Some popular techniques for self-hypnosis include:
- Meditation is where your focus is on your breath rather than the dental procedure.
- Positive affirmations: this is where you remind yourself to stay positive between the proceeding dental producers, telling yourself that you are relaxed and fine.
- Visualization: This is where you focus on imagining something or someone that can comfort you or take you to your “happy place” visualization can be made effective when paired with music.
Once you have successfully reached a stage where you can imagine yourself at a dentist’s surgery, you will be taught to feel relaxed while imagining all the various stages of treatment.
In the end, it can be said that hypnotherapy can help an individual to face the dentist by teaching you how to relax in between the procedure.