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How Does Hypnosis Work? Its History and Use In Dental Practices

While hypnosis sounds like something from a magician show or a psychiatrist’s office, it’s surprisingly starting to appear in dental offices, specifically for children. Some dentists have begun working with hypnosis techniques to help ease children’s anxieties before checkups and treatments. But is there any validity to its use? Where did hypnosis come from? Should it be used? We’re here to briefly look into the effects of hypnosis and see if it’s worth a glance. 

How Does Hypnosis Work? Its History and Use In Dental Practices

Hypnosis, also called hypnotherapy, has been around since the 1800s and is the practice of putting a person in a half-asleep state. These trances give the person a certain amount of awareness that allows them to remain conscious but not fully aware of their surroundings. Through these trances, the person performing the hypnosis will create suggestions for the person to follow or comply with and helps the person maintain a calm, lucid state. 

Although the validity of hypnosis is questionable at best, some dentists have begun using hypnosis to ease dental anxiety in patients. It’s used to help patients become more cooperative during their procedures and ongoing sessions. For children with dental phobias, their nature makes them more likely to believe in the effects of hypnosis and therefore receive dental care with better results. 

An important note to remember about hypnosis is that it isn’t a replacement for traditional care methods, including anesthetics, analgesics, and other pediatric procedures. While hypnosis may provide children with calming techniques, it does not replace standard pediatric care that’s needed for every child. It can be a valuable tool as long as it’s understood that hypnotic suggestions don’t work for every child and don’t always resolve issues with dental anxiety. 

Ways You Help Your Child With Dental Anxiety During Their Appointment

You know your child best and therefore know what scares them and why. By working with your pediatric dentist, they can help you and your child finds ways of managing their source of dental anxiety through various techniques, including:

  • Distractions: Bring along items that will distract them during their dental appointments, such as phones and tablets. If they like music, bring their headphones so they can listen to their favorite music. 
  • Comfort Items: Comfort items such as stuffed toys, blankets, and fidget spinners can sometimes work best to relieve anxiety. 
  • Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques and deep breathing exercises can help them further relax during appointments.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Offering forms of positive reinforcement with rewards can help them feel assured and comfortable during and after their appointments. 
  • Being Present For Them: By being present and being with them the whole time, you are their best source for easing their fears. 
  • Fun and Games: Engage with them by playing games as a form of distraction. 
  • Calm Reassurance: Speaking to them in a calm voice can help them through their appointments and give them peace of mind. 

If you have a child who already suffers from pediatric dentist anxiety, help them be more comfortable with the idea of the dentist by speaking with your pediatric dentist today. 

People have always been concerned about the way they look, especially when it comes to their teeth. We usually pay special attention to our teeth when smiling. We may observe a misaligned tooth or that our gums are more noticeable than our teeth and desire to change it. This desire is further amplified by the perfect appearances of others on social media platforms. The insecurities this has caused it has led to the development of a new specialty called emotional dentistry. 

Introducing Emotional Dentistry Into Dental Care

While patients typically won’t use the term emotional dentistry, they know it when they receive it. Emotional dentistry involves your dentist’s awareness of how our smiles affect our self-esteem. They understand our aesthetic concerns and consider them when considering how to proceed with treatment. An unhealthy relationship with our smiles can have multiple influences on our lives, including:

  • Our Self-Esteem: Smiles are one of the founding actions of our social interactions. Hiding our smiles may make people assume that we’re unhappy or depressed. Smiling is one of the essential factors in being social, as it permits people to see that we’re having fun, bright, and enjoying their company. Having a healthy smile that we can be happy with can help with our self-worth and our ability to be social.
  • Our Mental Health: Smiling can impact our mental health by producing serotonin. We create serotonin when we smile, even when that smile is false or involuntary. When seeing people smiling, those who witness it are inclined to respond with a smile and experience a boost in serotonin whether they do or don’t. Because of this, it has been shown that smiling can increase our moods. Regular avoidance of smiling can signify anxiety, depression, etc.

Digital Smile Design is a process used when it comes to emotional dentistry. This process aims to provide patients with hope. DSD shows the possible outcomes of dental procedures before the procedure. They can show how restoring our teeth can make our smiles look healthier or the potential effect of dental whitening on our smiles.

DSD allows dentists and patients to discuss their concerns and show how specific treatments to aid in resolving them. Trouble communicating these concepts has been a staggering core point in treatment planning. DSD has assisted in bridging the gap between understanding the patient’s needs and the steps the dentist can take to ensure those needs are met.

Setting Goals For Creating Beautiful Smiles

Many elements go into what makes a smile stand out. One of the most crucial is confidence in our smiles. This confidence can be a struggle to achieve if we have noticeable flaws in our smiles that we’re concerned about. We’re ingrained to recognize symmetry as an essential part of what makes something attractive. This recognition means gaps, misalignments, discoloration, and missing teeth all impact the perceived attractiveness of our smiles. Contact your dentist today so they can provide a detailed treatment plan to address your concerns.