The use of imagery suggestions during administration of local anesthetic in pediatric dental patients

Benjamin Peretz, Enrique Bimstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of suggestion before and during the administration of local anesthesia to children. These effects were then observed and correlated with social, behavioral and dentally related variables. Eighty children between the ages of three and sixteen years and who required at least one injection of local anesthesia were monitored; Retrospective examinations of their dental records provided the information regarding the behavior and dental treatment histories of the patients All other data were provided through observation during the dental treatment phase. During the first treatment session, before the injection, each child was asked to select a favorite, pleasant memory or image. Where children had difficulty in identifying an image, one was proposed by the dentist. After an image had been chosen, the patients were asked to concentrate on the image and to visualize it during the procedure. The majority of children had chosen their own images and significantly visualized the same images throughout the injection procedures Image selection and visualization had no association with gender, age, the parent's assessment of the child's behavior, previous dental experience, behavior (both past and present) or, managemen techniques (both past and present). We conclude that imaging techniques may be successfully utilized in the administration of local anesthesia to young children (from three years of age) in an effort to mitigate untoward, pain-related stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dentistry for Children
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Children
  • Imaging
  • Local anesthesia


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