Dental Hypnosis

Imagine yourself – relaxed and at-ease in the dental chair.

See yourself moving beyond what used to seem like limitations, experiencing your procedure in well-being and serenity.

Feel yourself as part of a highly competent and caring team, bringing comfort and long-term health to your mouth and jaw.
Banish clenching of jaws and grinding teeth, for your comfort and health.
Be in your Safe Place – the beach, the mountains, a forest, or your own bed – as you get the care you need.

Relaxed and At-Ease in the Chair

With hypnosis, your mind becomes more focused – fully alert and attentive, yet able to utilize beneficial suggestions at a deep level.  Through hypnosis and self-hypnosis you can change the patterns of thinking and behavior that up to now may have made it difficult for you to experience relaxed, anxiety-free dental examinations, cleanings, and restorations.

Bruxism – Clenching and Grinding

Clenching and grinding can destroy crowns and fillings, damage teeth, and injure the TMJ joint (the lower jaw hinge). Over the course of four hypnosis sessions and continuing, you will experience your clenching and/or grinding gradually diminishing. We teach you exercises for your mouth, body, and mind, to reduce and eventually eliminate this habit and to address and ease the underlying anxiety and reactions to stress.

Preparation for Dental Surgery

As with any surgery, root canals, bone grafts, extractions, and implants can put a strain on your physical and mental resources. A single hypnosis session prior to your dental surgery makes it easier all around, minimizing swelling, bruising, bleeding, and pain, and shortening the procedure. You heal quickly and easily, beginning while your are still in the chair.

Overactive Gag Reflex

Some patients have a difficulty with gagging, sometimes when the x-ray sensor is placed far back in their jaw, or with unfamiliar dentures, or even, in extreme cases, when brushing their teeth. With hypnosis we can help the patient “turn down” this reaction and move the “trigger” further back in the throat where it belongs.

Excessive Salivation

Too much salivation during a dental procedure makes it difficult for the patient and the dentist alike. Speaking to the unconscious mind, which controls “automatic” bodily process such as blood flow and salivation, we ask it to produce only the necessary amount of saliva, while the conscious mind focuses on something completely different.

A Final Word

For many people, the word “hypnosis” brings up images of swinging watches, silly stage shows, or sinister movie plots. In a dental setting, however, hypnosis – dental hypnosis – is an important adjunct to patient comfort and happy and healthy mouths, teeth, and jaws.


Dnald pelles, PhD, is available one morning per week at Bethesda Chevy Chase Dental Care, Bethesda, MD, 301 986-8777, as a dental hypnotist.

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