The role of hypnotherapy in dentistry

SAAD Dig. 2014 Jan;30:3-6.


Dental fear is a universal phenomenon justifying the increasing relevance of psychology and the behavioural sciences to dental training and clinical practice. Pharmacological sedation has been used more and more over the past two decades, in order to relieve dental anxiety and phobia and let the patient face oral surgery safely. Hypnosis is a still underused but powerful non-pharmacological tool in dentistry. It provides an effective sedation whilst maintaining patient collaboration, but it also may help patients recovering from dental anxiety and phobia as well as those with a severe gag reflex. While pharmacological sedation affords a temporary respite and helps the patient to cope with a single procedure, hypnosis can effectively allow for both an excellent sedation in a physiological way and the treatment of patients' anxiety, or substantially decrease the doses used for sedative and analgesic drugs when these are needed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Dental Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Surgery, Oral / psychology*