Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 15:28 UK

Hypnosis used in dental procedure

John Ridlington, Leslie Mason and Dr Bhavin Bhatt
Mr Mason faced a 400 bill for the procedure to be performed privately

A dental patient underwent hypnosis to have two rotten teeth removed because he could not afford private treatment.

Leslie Mason was facing a 400 bill for the procedure to be performed privately as his local surgery in Colchester, Essex, had exhausted its NHS budget.

Mr Mason, 54, instead chose to play the role of guinea pig to a Hertfordshire dentist's unorthodox form of treatment, using hypnosis as the only painkiller.

The father-of-seven said: "It was incredible. I felt no pain at all."

Mr Mason was put in contact with dentist Dr Bhavin Bhatt, by mutual friend John Ridlington, a qualified hypnotist.

With the offer of free treatment he agreed to the procedure performed at the Smile and Wellbeing dental practice in Bishop's Stortford.

'Mind over matter'

Mr Ridlington, 59, from Dunmow in Essex, said: "We all have the ability to control pain with our brains.

"Our brains control everything about our bodies and our subconscious is the most powerful part - it controls our breathing and the blood pumping through our veins.

"Hypnosis taps into the subconscious mind. It's all about mind over matter."

Mr Ridlington got Mr Mason into a relaxed state of mind and taught him to visualise his favourite pastime - historic battle re-enactments - to distract his mind from the pain.

Whilst wielding an imaginary medieval sword, Mr Mason visualised a dial numbered one to 10 - one for no pain and 10 for excruciating pain.

As soon as he felt a twinge he mentally turned the dial back to one.

100% effective

He remained conscious throughout the two-hour procedure and felt nothing more than "a bit of a sting".

Mr Mason, a former farmhand, said: "It was incredible. There is no worse pain than that inflicted by dentists but I didn't feel any.

"The dentist had to dig away at the rotten roots that were right up into my jaw. There isn't anything I wouldn't have done under hypnosis now. It's incredible."

Dr Bhatt said: "The hypnosis was 100% effective.

"With Leslie we used hypnotherapy to remove a seriously infected tooth and some deeply embedded roots. Ordinarily this would involve surgery and such cases are usually referred to hospital.

"We're now exploring the possibility of offering tooth transplants under hypnosis."

Mr Mason has previously undergone hypnosis to quit his 40-a-day smoking habit.

NHS dental work put out to tender
29 Apr 08 |  Northern Ireland
Hypnosis 'eases cancer op pain'
29 Aug 07 |  Health

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific