Self-hypnosis downloads for oral surgery healing?
September 3, 2010 5:16 AM   Subscribe

Recommend a self-hypnosis tape (online download preferred) to listen to in preparation for wisdom tooth extraction.

I'm getting all 4 wisdom teeth out next week. Hurrah! I'm hoping to avoid opiate painkillers, and my Mom told me she had a great experience when she got hers out (also later in life) by listening to self-hypnosis tapes before the surgery.

My Mom recalls these tapes (were custom made for her by her therapist at the time, which would have been the mid-'80s in the US) as the following:
a self-hypnosis version of calmly reminding one's self of the fact that the pain was not with you but somewhere outside you, somewhere out there. You imagined that your gums were packed in ice, that no swelling would occur, that no blood would issue forth from your wound, positive affirmations of painfree, non-swelling response to the procedure. "Close your eyes, count to ten backwards as you relax from your toes to your forehead. Your gums are cool, surrounded in ice, but not uncomfortable, blood flow is slowed to the gums, swelling doesn't occur, because you are relaxed and blood is flowing slowly away from the gums, carrying away the discomfort and leaving the gums cool, calm, the pain removed and out there."
Now, I've searched online, but really only found one source for downloading something like this (see tooth extraction download for $9.99 here). Does anyone else have experience with this? Could you recommend a source for me to download a self-hypnosis MP3 (dental surgery specific preferred)?

Notes: I will still be planning to use prescription painkillers, but hopefully can manage with just prescription-strength Motrin, which the oral surgeon has recommended. I'm not planning on using hypnosis instead of other pain meds, but I'm curious and open to trying it out, woo-woo skepticism nonwithstanding. I've gone under hypnosis before in a therapeutic setting and was told that I was very easily 'put under' if that helps.
posted by pants to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm getting all 4 wisdom teeth out next week. Hurrah! I'm hoping to avoid opiate painkillers, and my Mom told me she had a great experience when she got hers out (also later in life) by listening to self-hypnosis tapes before the surgery.

As someone who has had their wisdom teeth removed: That is not going to work.
posted by delmoi at 5:25 AM on September 3, 2010

I echo delmoi fully.

If that word opiate is the source of the problem, forget it is there. The effect is short, the trauma massively reduced and going through this a second time because the first failed would be highly undesirable.
If you were talking about flesh being cut for a minor op I'd support you but teeth? And those teeth? get the jab at the dentist.
posted by markx2 at 5:33 AM on September 3, 2010

Disagreeing somewhat with the above. I've had all 4 out, but not at the same time. Two were done by an oral surgeon while I was (briefly) unconscious. Many years earlier, the other two were extracted at a free clinic using Novocaine. I really didn't have any major problems either way. Being unconscious certainly saved me some anxiety, though.
posted by jon1270 at 5:43 AM on September 3, 2010

I'm sure a select few have horror stories about getting their wisdom teeth out, but the truth is that it's not that big of a deal. I had all four taken out and they weren't simple extractions and I was put under using general anethesia. I never used the prescription pain medicine that I had, I used Aleve instead and I didn't even really need it but my mom insisted that I take it. I kept ice on my face for 48 hours (they only told me 24) but I really, really didn't want any swelling or bruising on my face. I didn't have any swelling and I only had a very faint yellow bruise on either side of my face. They told my mom to give me a sedative on the way over to the office which put me in a nice zen state anyway. I think you're overthinking this situation.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:46 AM on September 3, 2010

I had all four yanked out, two impacted. I had no real pain at all. I didn't even feel the need to take Advil. The only pain I had was for a week or two there was sort of an aching feeling. The dentist said that was likely my teeth just kind of readjusting to more space.

I have found that the experience varies greatly by the person.
posted by sanka at 5:48 AM on September 3, 2010

I think it's commendable that you are approaching this from a deep level and aren't going the conventional way by going under chemically. Right on. I just did a search on YT and these are the RESULTS. I think you'd find something in there to help you get through this. Have an easy time with no pain.
posted by watercarrier at 6:03 AM on September 3, 2010

Response by poster: Just to clarify - YES I am going under general anesthesia. The purpose of the hypnosis is to help reduce inflammation and speed healing.

For personal reasons, I really don't want to use opiate painkillers if they can be avoided. Addiction is something that has been an issue in my life and in loved one's lives, so it's not just the word 'opiate' that is causing a knee-jerk reaction - I'd like it out of my life if possible, and have discussed my reasons for hoping to avoid it with my oral surgeon.

Back to the question - any recommendations for self-hypnosis downloads to supplement (not replace in any way) the pain management and healing plan I've already established with my surgeon?
posted by pants at 6:44 AM on September 3, 2010

I had my wisdom teeth removed, and didn't need to use the prescribed painkillers afterward. I just took the "hospital" dose of Motrin, piggy-backed* with the "hospital" dose of Tylenol. So, I don't have a recommendation regarding self-hypnosis for dealing with the pain, but just know that it is possible for some people to skip the Rx pain meds completely. That could be your Plan B, so to speak.

*piggy-backing: take the first dose (in this case, 400mg of motrin). Note the time. Two hours later, take the first dose of tylenol (400mg). Note the time again. After 4 hours have passed, it will be time for your second dose of motrin, should you need it. You can wait up to 6 hours between motrin doses. Repeat as needed, with the correct medications.
posted by cooker girl at 7:14 AM on September 3, 2010

Agreeing with the others here that you don't need the heavy painkillers. I got all three (yes, three, because I'm a freak of nature) of my wisdom teeth extracted back in high school. They were all impacted and stupid and required me to go under general anesthesia (which I didn't tolerate well, I came out of it kicking and punching at my nurses). I took one of my oxycontin, didn't like feeling drugged, so stopped taking them. I took either tylenol or advil instead (I don't remember which). And I'm a total wimp. I was pretty miserable for several days, but that also might be because I kept tearing open one of my stitches (which I do not recommend).

But yes, it can be done without drugs. It can also be done without hypnosis. I think the problem comes in when you tell yourself that you need those things to get through it, because you really don't.
posted by phunniemee at 8:29 AM on September 3, 2010

Best answer: Martin Rossman might be someone you'd be interested to check out. He created a series of meditations for cancer treatment, and someone I know had pretty excellent experiences with using them. He works primarily in guided meditation around medical procedures and that kind of thing. For me, even just listening to one of his lectures about clinical applications of guided meditation puts me the eff to sleep, because his voice is so perfect for guided meditation. I've never used any of his stuff, so I can't give you any specific recommendations, but he is recognized by therapists who practice clinical hypnosis (I know about him because I have colleagues who love his work, so I'm just clarifying that this isn't exactly a personal recommendation).

Please also be aware that "hypnosis" has a pretty incredibly wide range of definitions, and there's quite a bit of chaff in with the potential wheat.
posted by so_gracefully at 12:42 PM on September 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, so_gracefully - Rossman has a download that includes a section on healing after dental procedures, which is exactly what I was looking for and sounds similar to what my mom described. I'm curious to see how the healing process will go... although I'm only getting them out once, so I won't be able to do a true experiment with/without the hypnosis...
posted by pants at 1:38 PM on September 3, 2010

I have had great experience with One of their downloads got me to stop biting my nails after more than a decade and I have been thoroughly satisfied with their other downloads as well.
posted by masters2010 at 1:51 PM on September 3, 2010

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