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Reduce Pain and Anxiety for Dental Patients Using Hypnotherapy

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 by: Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.
Tags: hypnotherapy, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) A common phobia that many people have is the fear of dentistry. They fear pain and possible procedures that could cause them anxiety. This can also lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety over going to the dentist. Many people avoid going to the dentist because of their fear. Hypnotherapy has been shown to help people not only overcome their anxiety and fears, but reduce pain. There are many applications of hypnosis in relation to dentistry.

A phobia is defined as "an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation" (Merriam-Webster). People with a fear of dentistry avoid going to the dentist because of their fear and this can lead to major problems pertaining to their dental health. Common dental fears include pain, loss of control, sounds at the dentist's office, the drill, gagging, and panicking.

According to dentalfearcentral.com, there are three types of dental fears: dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia. Dental anxiety is pretty common and many people have dental anxiety; it is similar to the fear of the unknown. Dental fear is synonymous with a fight or flight response when dealt with a potentially negative dental experience. Dental phobia is much stronger than dental fear. Someone with dental phobia will avoid going to the dentist or any dental procedure at all costs.

Enquist and Fischer (1997) performed a study using hypnosis as an analgesic aid in dental procedures. Sixty-nine participants were randomly assigned in one of two groups. Thirty-three patients received hypnotherapy and 36 patients received no form of therapy or treatment (control group). The hypnosis group listened to a self-hypnosis audio session for a week leading up to their procedure. The hypnotherapy consisted of healing suggestions and helped the patients overcome pain and anxiety.

Results of the study showed that the group that did not receive hypnotherapy prior to the dental procedure experienced a significant rise in anxiety before their procedure. Comparatively, the hypnotherapy group did not show signs of increased anxiety before the procedure. The hypnosis group also required much less analgesics after the procedure. This study shows that hypnotherapy reduced anxiety and reduces consumption of pain medication in relation to dental procedures.

Dental fears can have a negative impact on a person's life and can cause them to avoid going to the dentist. Dental health is very important to a person's overall health. If someone is experiencing a dental phobia, it is important that they seek help in overcoming their fear. Hypnotherapy can help them overcome their phobia and also reduce anxiety and pain in relation to going to the dentist.


Enquist, B. & Fischer, K. (1997). Preoperative hypnotic techniques reduce consumption of analgesics after surgical removal of third mandibular molars: A brief communication. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnotherapy, 45(2), 102-108.

Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (11th ed.). (2003). Springfield, MA: Merriam- Webster.

"What is dental phobia?" Dental Fear Central. Retrieved on August 3, 2009: http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/what_is_den...

About the author

Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at:
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