Hypnosis in Pediatric Dentistry

Managing pediatric patients can be a challenge for dentists; various nonpharmacological meth­ods have been used in the management of anxiety and behavioral problems in children. The use of hypnosis has been generally overlooked; therefore a systematic review conducted by Dr. Al-Harasi, et al attempted to determine the effectiveness of hypnosis with or without sedation for the behavioral management of children receiving dental care.
     The authors searched the Cochrane Oral Health Group’s Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE (OVID), EMBASE (OVID), and PsycINFO. The selection criteria were all children and adolescents up to age 16 years having any dental treatment, such as simple restorative treatment with or without local anesthetic, simple extractions, or management of dental trauma. Since only 3 trials with 69 participants fulfilled the inclusion criteria, statistical and meta-analysis were not possible. The authors concluded that al­though there are a considerable number of anecdotal accounts indicating the benefits of using hypnosis in pediatric dentistry, on the basis of the 3 studies meeting the inclusion criteria for this review there is not yet enough evidence to suggest its beneficial effects.
(Source: Al-Harasi S, et al. Hypnosis for children undergoing dental treatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. August 4, 2010, Issue 8, Article Number CD007154. Published online August 4, 2010.)