A letter written by Brenda Hickey appeared in the November 1995 issue. The author was concerned about the dangers of hypnosis and opening oneself "to satanic forces." Though these thoughts may be appropriate to a theology class or told around a campfire on Halloween night, they have no serious place in science or in the dental office.
Hypnosis, as a thoroughly tested and approved technique of patient analgesia and behavior modification, is safer than topical anesthetics. It is impossible to do the patient harm in the dental context. Hypnosis is easily learned, can be rapidly induced in patients, and contribute substantially to patient comfort, behavior modification, and positive physiologic processes (saliva or bleeding control, for example). Dental hygienists also can quickly induce anesthesia, change behaviors and help control dental phobias.
Hypnosis is a new frontier for dental hygiene for it has practical as well as intellectual benefits. It is safe. If you are getting bored with just doing hygiene, I suggest you get some hypnosis training and expand your horizons, your value to your employer, and your sense of accomplishment.
E.J. Neiburger, DDS