Hypnodontics is the art and science of using hypnosis to induce comfortable and pain free dental visits. Hypnosis is used to reduce stress and induce anesthesia so that less medication is used. Hard to manage patients often present the majority of problems the dentist encounters in their daily routine. They take extra time and require special consideration by the dentist and the staff. Hard to manage patients often put off going to the dentist until the pain or dental problem can no longer be ignored. There are numerous reasons why these patients are fearful, tense, nervous and anxious before, during, and even after the dental visit. These patients will complain of extreme anxiety prior to a simple check-up and repeatedly request tranquilizers to help them cope. Hypnosis can easily alleviate the tension, nervousness and unreasonable fear of pain often exhibited by these patients. The hypnotherapist should meet with this type of dental patient two or three days prior to the scheduled dental appointment.
One of the most troublesome problems that a patient may bring to the dentist is that of gagging as soon as anything is inserted into the mouth. Ordinarily this gagging response will occur only if the object is inserted deep into the mouth and into the throat. It is a natural reflex governed by the vagus nerve (cranial nerve 11) to protect against choking. The trigger lies so deep that the reflex does not normally affect the person who is having dental work. For some people, this trigger has moved forward through conditioning to the lips, or the tongue, or some other area touched in the dental examinations. Unless controlled, the gagging can make dental procedures difficult or impossible.
Control can be achieved in many cases by direct suggestion or properly developed imagery, but sometimes more complex methods are required. Waking hypnosis is a very effective means to completely eliminate the gag reflex.