In 1848, Dr Horace Wells, a dentist, went to a stage hypnosis show and was introduced to hypnosis for pain management. At that time, nitrous oxide was starting to become popular so he dropped the use of hypnosis.
Around the middle of the 20th century, dentists began again to be interested in the use of hypnosis. It is Dr Aaron Moss who coined the term “hypnodontics.” This means the use of hypnosis in dentistry.
What are the benefits of hypnosis for dental work?
- It helps eliminate the patient’s fear, tension and anxiety about dental work.
- It helps patients become accustomed to orthodontic and prosthetic devices.
- It helps patients be comfortable during long periods of dental work.
- Modification of poor dental habits like teeth grinding or tongue thrusting.
- Reduction of anaesthesia or analgesia during dental work.
- Can be used to reduce general anaesthesia.
- Can be used to create amnesia when there is unpleasant dental work.
- Control gagging, nausea, salivary flow and bleeding.
- Can create analgesia for postoperative recovery.
The analgesia takes away the pain but leaves the response. The anaesthesia takes away all feeling response. In dentistry, a large percentage of problems come from a small percentage of clients.
It is important to note that hypnosis does not work well in a busy office. Therefore, preliminary work must be done outside of the dental office and is usually done in the hypnotherapist’s office.
A good Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist never eliminates dental pain without a waiver or a prescription from a Dentist. Dental pain is often acute and is usually a signal that something is wrong and needs to be taken cared of.
When choosing a hypnotherapist, it is important to be sure that he or she is qualified. Pierre Benoit, CHt, RCCH, is a member of the Association of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists of Canada (ARCH) and of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) and can be reached at (514)472-3535.