Hypnotherapy
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Below are details of a study carried out in Sweden to assess whether Hypnotherapy can help with going to the dentist... 

Hypnotherapy - dentistry

Over the past decade hypnotherapy has been used in dental surgeries to assist in pain control and the alleviation of anxiety and stress. Until recently there was little by way of controlled research to support the use of hypnotherapy in dentistry, however a recent study from Sweden(1) has demonstrated that hypnotherapy is an effect relaxation and analgesic aid for patients having to undergo dental treatment.

The study conducted at the eastman Dental Centre, Stockholm, was set up to evaluate the effects of preoperative hypnotic techniques used by patients having surgical removal of their third mandibular molar tooth.

Sixty nine patients participated in the study, 33 of whom were randomly assigned to receive hypnotherapy and 36 assigned to a control group. The week prior to the surgery, the treatment group listened to an audiotape which contained an hypnotic relaxation induction, followed by suggestions of healing and recovery as well as advice concerning ways of managing their stress and pain.

The patients in the control group received no hypnotic intervention. One surgeon conducted all of the operations and he was completely unaware as to which patients had been given hypnotherapy.

The results revealed that those patients in the control group experienced a significant rise in their anxiety states immediately prior to the surgery, but those patients in the hypnotherapy group did not show a rise in their anxiety states.

Furthermore, compared to the control group, postoperative consumption of analgesics was significantly reduced in the hypnotherapy group.

The study indicates that hypnotherapy prior to dental surgery can significantly help patients overcome anxiety and help them minimise the use of analgesics following the surgery.

Enquist B & Fischer K. Preoperative hypnotic techniques reduce consumption of analgesics after surgical removal of third mandibular molars: a brief communication. Int J Clin Exp Hypno April 1997 45(2) 102-8