Hypnosis in Dentistry
Over the years, I have been asked why I differentiate between Hypnosis in Medicine and Dentistry, when it is clear that hypnosis in the control of pain has many more uses. This is very true, however, in the main, physicians very seldom consult non-medical hypnotherapists. As well, there would be many questions to answer if a non-medically qualified hypnotherapist assisted in a surgical procedure. The exception to this is where a doctor feels that the pain is psychosomatic and they will consult us to help the client to get over it.
However, dentists are extremely favourable to our mode of treatment. This is for two reasons; first many people have a phobia about the dentist, and second, many people are either allergic to general anaesthetics or believe that they are, so another method of pain control is needed.
When I treat people with a view to dentistry, it take a two stage approach. Most who need hypnosis for pain control are also terribly afraid of the dental procedure. In this instance I start with simple relaxation hypnosis. This is done not only to calm them down, but also to start building up the idea that they are in control of the situation and themselves. Once they are in a more calm state, we begin to work with the anaesthetics. This could take a couple of sessions, so don’t expect miracles overnight. With regard’s to anaesthesia, it is vital to note the difference between analgesia (partial pain loss) and anaesthesia (total pain loss). If a patient only achieves analgesia, this will not be sufficient for dental procedures. One must always achieve anaesthesia. I am not a great believer in hypnotic tests, but in this case, it is vital that with every step of the treatment you test to see which level you have achieved.
When working with dentists, I recommend that you use the Elman Induction as it is quick and it saves the dentist time waiting for the anaesthesia to take effect. Also, it is important that the language that the dentist uses during the procedure is positive. Nothing will bring a person out of state faster than an ill chosen word.