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Quell Dental Anxiety With Hypnotherapy

The word “hypnosis” usually conjures images of show business hypnotists mesmerizing audience members to perform embarrassing acts on stage. Although there are misconceptions associated with hypnosis, it offers many benefits in the dental setting. Hypnotherapy is the term used to describe the therapeutic use of hypnosis, and can be traced to the early 1800s in the dental field. One of the first documented cases of hypnodontics, or hypnosis in dentistry, was performed in 1829 to assist with analgesia and ease fear during a tooth extraction. This led to pioneers in hypnodontics promoting it as an effective and reliable treatment alternative for patient management. Within dentistry, hypnosis can be used as a nonpharmacological intervention to enhance overall patient comfort and reduce dental anxiety.


A significant component of relieving patient anxiety is through the use of iatrosedation or managing the patient through the oral health professional’s behavior.

Therapist using pendulum to make a diagnosis humonia / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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When introducing hypnotherapy to patients, oral health professionals should demystify the negative emotions and images associated with hypnotic techniques.

Therapist using pendulum to make diagnosis Giselleflissak / E+
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With rapid induction techniques, a patient may be induced in less than how many minutes?

Hypnosis pocket watch BrianAJackson / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Provided it falls within their scope of practice, hypnosis may be used by licensed oral health professionals.

Hypnotherapist Holding Woman Hand During Hypnotherapy AndreyPopov / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Which organization offers additional training on hypnosis for licensed professionals, including workshops, e-learning, consultation, ethics, and independent practice?

Pendulum Swinging In Magic Background RomoloTavani / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Contraindications to hypnotherapy involve patients who are unable to maintain concentration long enough to be induced or move to a trance-like state, such as patients with severe psychiatric or psychotic disorders or cognitive difficulties.

Pocket watch silver swinging on a chain black background to hypnotize AOosthuizen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Quell Dental Anxiety With Hypnotherapy
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This information is from the article Improving Dental Appointments with Hypnotherapy By Toby J. Cheramie, DDS, and Heather B. Allen, RDH, BSDH, MSHCM. To read the article, click here.

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