It seems like a universal disposition that people don't enjoy their dental visits. For some it may seem like an uncomfortable chore, while for others it could induce serious anxiety and phobia. Even with the use of a pain shot, a numbing gel or being "put under", certain people still experience a high level of anxiety. Fear of the dentist is not uncommon. In such cases, when anesthesia just won't work in curing the tension, hypnosis is a viable way to deal with those dreaded (but necessary) trips to the dentist's office.
The anxiety could be triggered as soon as your dentist starts warming up that ominous-sounding drill that will surely be used either to drill into your sensitive gums or touch upon your teeth in a cold and uncomfortable way. Others might experience the dental dread coming on during their drive over or as the hours until the appointment slowly approach. According to WebMD, much of the anxiety could stem from an uncomfortable or traumatic experience during a childhood visit to the dentist. The article gives reassurance that modern dentistry makes for much more comfortable procedures, but for some, past experiences can still onset a high level of anxiety.
According to this study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, the use of hypnosis during dental visits is a tool that is not quite mainstream but can be effective.
"Hypnosis is a still underused but powerful non-pharmacological tool in dentistry," the study stated.
The extract from this study points out that using hypnosis has ability to be an adequate substitute for heavy sedation, which has been known to have adverse health effects. For example, a common anesthetic used by dentists is Nitrous Oxide, also known as "laughing gas", which kills brain cells because of deprivation of oxygen to the brain.
Hypnosis conditions a patient to remain relaxed and calm, and almost in a trance-like state (which would be ideal). This is done through several sessions that take place ahead of the dentist appointment. After a session with a hypnotherapist, a dental patient can continue to condition themselves through scripts, audio in preparation for their appointment. Once there, a person is more adequately equipped to deal with the procedure because they have been prepared for that hurdle beforehand.
It must be noted that hypnosis' effectiveness against dental fear varies from person-to-person. But if a patient has the ability to relax, focus on other thoughts and embrace hypnotherapy techniques, it can be effective with taking on anxiety and any physical pain or discomfort while under the dentist's drill.