When patients visit a physician or mental health professional, they expect verbal interactions. That is not the case with dentistry. Patients coming to the dentist expect their mouth to be treated, not talked about or analyzed. With the advent of stereophonic headphones the dentist can offer positive hypnotic suggestions while taking care of the mouth. With the use of the waterproof cassette player (which can be sanitized between patients), the dental patient can be distracted and dissociated by the soothing suggestions of the doctor's voice and also enjoy an audio shield from the piercing noise of the dental drill. The dental practitioner can prepare 'generic' audiotapes that are consistent with the practice's philosophy or offer prerecorded music, humor or educational/instructional audiotapes. For the doctor who is willing to invest a little time in preparing patient tapes, it is recommended that the form of speech be primarily in the passive voice and the text be devoid of personal pronouns. It may feel strange to record a tape without using the 'I want you to...' mode, but for the listener, hearing just the ideas and suggestions is empowering. Because the brain does not easily compute 'no' in the hypnotic state, it is more effective to offer positive suggestions. For example, rather than saying 'don't forget to floss daily', 'be sure to floss daily to keep your gums healthy', is more likely to produce the desired response.
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