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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Calming Dental Anxiety

Feb 02, 2016 09:34AM ● By Dr. David Grayson

Many people feel anxious when we visit a dentist. Anxiety associated with dental treatments is commonplace; in fact, even the word “dentist” can set a grown man’s or woman’s heart fluttering.

There are several methods to deal with such anxiety. One of the most commonly used methods is drugs. Patients can take a pill to help them relax before the treatment. Another is general anesthesia in which frightened individuals are made semi-conscious or unconscious to have their treatment performed. Neither of these methods, however, is without potential complication. Drugs can make people feel groggy for hours afterward and have adverse side effects. General anesthesia also poses risks and requires patients to have someone drive them home after the procedure. Most importantly, neither approach is natural or holistic. There is an approach, however, that poses no risk and offers an alternative: hypnosis.

Hypnosis is natural, safe and highly effective when used properly. Instead of entering the dental office with dread, imagine walking in with a positive, happy and cheerful frame of mind. This is entirely possible through the use of hypnosis.

A patient is placed in hypnosis as soon as he or she is seated in the dental chair and gently guided into an imaginary comfortable and relaxing locale. Most people choose a beach scene to place themselves in. They then send their minds to this relaxing spot and allow their bodies to remain in the treatment room, where the required dental procedures are performed comfortably and without anxiety. Once the procedures are completed, the patient is re-alerted and is able to return to her regular activities relaxed, refreshed and anxiety free.

Much of the fear associated with dental treatments involves “needle-phobia”: people often dread dental injections. Patients have been known to turn pale, faint and even run out of the treatment room when faced with the thought of having a needle inserted into their gums. Through hypnosis, however, the mouth can be made numb without the use or even mention of the word “needle, “injection” or “shot.” I have performed fillings, crowns and root canal treatments using only hypnosis as anesthesia.

Of course, not every individual is capable of this profound degree of hypnosis. But the vast majority of people are able to be hypnotized to a depth that will allow them to be able to overcome their fear and have their treatment performed safely, effectively and without any further potential side effect. Hypnosis can also be used therapeutically to enhance good dental habits by helping patients to stop smoking, grinding their teeth, and snoring.

Dr. David Grayson uses hypnosis in his dental practice in Parsippany to help anxious patients overcome their fears. For more information, call 973-984-8020 or visit

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