Call Us!


Fax Us!

24541 Pacific Park Drive, Suite #104
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

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

Hypnosis in Dental Care

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. 

« »