BBC News Dental Surgery
Hypnosis can help to cut down the use of general anaesthesia in surgery, a hypnotherapy conference will hear.
Dr Robert Diaz an oral and facial surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary will tell the British Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis that hypnotherapy can give patients a more pleasant experience in surgery and could cut NHS spending.
Their heart rate was dramatically lower, suggesting they were less stressed.
Wisdom teeth are normally removed under general anaesthetic which can be dangerous and unpleasant for patients.
“Hypnosis is a reasonable treatment option which can reduce the number of general anaesthetics given and increase safety,” he said. “It could also save the NHS money as anaesthesia is expensive and patients have to stay longer in hospital afterwards, possibly overnight.”
Several dentists and doctors have incorporated the technique into their work for many years. Dentist John Gladstone says he has used it for more than 30 years. He started because he was terrified of the dentist’s chair himself and wanted to help his patients.
“There are no chemicals involved and the patient is in control the whole time,” he said. They are not unconscious, just relaxed.”
One of his patients, Liz Cooper, said she was sceptical at first when Dr Gladstone suggested hypnotherapy when she had extensive crown work done. “I was aware of what was going on, but not of any sensation of pain,” she said.
The British Dental Association, which has issued advice to dentists on how to gain hypnosis information and training, welcomed a call for an increase in the use of hypnosis in dentistry.
Spokeswoman Kate Cinamon said: “We would welcome wider use of hypnosis to relax patients who are anxious.