Can Hypnosis Treat Dental Anxiety?
Does the thought of going to the dentist make you nervous or anxious?
You aren’t alone, but avoiding dental care can lead to many other health problems besides dental pain. But there are steps you can take to relieve that anxiety. Finding a supportive and caring hypnotherapist you like and have confidence is the key to overcoming dental phobia and fears.
Hypnosis is still an underused but it is a powerful non-pharmacological tool that can be very effectively used in dentistry. It provides a successful sedation process and also benefits after surgery recovery. In my experience it may also help patients with medical procedure anxiety and phobia as well as those with a severe gag reflex. Hypnosis can effectively, and in some cases substantially decrease the doses used for sedative and analgesic drugs when these are needed.
The Most Feared Phobias are…
- having an anesthetic, and
Easing Medical Phobias in Adults
Phobia is a more serious condition than general anxiety. It leaves people panic-stricken and terrified. People with a medical phobia often have a self-awareness that the fear is irrational, but are unable to do anything about it. They exhibit classic avoidance behavior; that is, they will do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist, resulting in significant dental problems. Fear and anxiety of the Dentist or a dental appointment generally starts in childhood (85%) and the dominating cause is previous traumatic dental experiences. People with this type of phobia usually go to the dentist only when forced to do so when in extreme pain. Pathologic anxiety or phobia may be treated using clinical hypnotherapy and in some cases may require psychiatric consultation.
Do reach out to me for a free consultation and tell me your story. If I think that my solutions will not be effective for you I will recommend a psychiatrist I work with.
Talk to me about your issue, often an initial traumatic event occurred. Get rid of that and viola your issues shift. Schedule a free online consultation, it will immediately make you feel better!
Other signs of dental phobia include:
- Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam
- Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office waiting room
- Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist
- Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth during the dental treatment or suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe
What Causes Phobia and Medical Anxiety?
Medical phobias as the 1984 Dental fear and avoidance: causes, symptoms, and consequences suggests often result in past dental trauma such as:
- Fear of pain. Fear of pain is one of the most common reasons for avoiding an appointment. The fear is usually triggered by an early experience that was unpleasant, painful or traumatic, and sometimes from the “pain and horror” stories told by others. Thanks to the scientific and technological advances in dentistry, most of today’s procedures are almost painless, even in some instances completely pain-free.
- Fear of injections or fearing the injection won’t work to make you numb. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted somewhere around the face, and especially into the mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn’t yet set in, or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate the future pain before the procedure begins.
- Fear of anesthetic and its side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don’t like the numbness or “fat lip” feeling associated with local anesthetics.
- Feeling helpless and of the feeling of losing control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a clinical office with space-age, hygienic machines everywhere with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s going on. It’s a feeling of powerlessness.
- Embarrassment and violation of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical intimacy of the dentist or hygienist in close body contact. Others may feel self-conscious about their physical appearance, or the state of their gum decay or missing teeth or possible odors from tooth decay.
How to get Rid of Phobia and Anxiety?
Medical anxiety is multifactorial, and hence there is no monotherapy for management. Proper evaluation of the patient and identifying their source and level of anxiety can enable the Hypnotherapist in deciding a proper treatment plan. Often dentists suggest seeing a clinical hypnotherapist prior to a visit or dental procedure.
Broadly, medical anxiety can be managed by psycho-therapeutic interventions, pharmacological interventions, A 2016 literature review Strategies to manage patients with dental anxiety and dental phobia: literature review. Psychotherapeutic interventions are either behaviorally or cognitively oriented, and recently, the use of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been shown to be highly successful in the management of extremely anxious and phobic individuals.
Psychotherapeutic interventions & Medical Anxiety Treatment Options
Clinical Hypnotherapy has a broad tool set and when combined with Spiritual Psychology, Buddhism and CBT extraordinarily rapid results and outcomes are possible. I use all of the methods bolded in the list.
- Communication skills, rapport, and trust building: iatrosedative technique
- Behavior-management techniques
- Relaxation techniques: deep breathing, muscle relaxation
- Jacobsen’s progressive muscular relaxation
- Brief relaxation or functional relaxation therapy
- Autogenic relaxation
- Ost’s applied relaxation technique
- Deep relaxation or diaphragmatic breathing
- Relaxation response
- Guided imagery
- Enhancing control
- “Tell-show-do”, signaling
- Systematic desensitization or exposure therapy
- Positive reinforcement
- Cognitive therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Overcome Dental Phobia with Hypnotherapy
Let go of your dental fear once and for all. Reprogram your mind, let go of past traumas by putting them into the right perspective. Learn relaxation techniques, and discover what’s causing your dental anxiety & together with hypnotherapy we can reinforce reframing your situation — experience immediate results with a free consultation. Reach out now and end your dental anxiety.