Dhuns and dentistry


A 28-year-old woman urgently needed a tooth extraction, and local anesthesia was not an option.

The patient was offered all of the other anesthetizing options, but she chose music instead. A recording of a Rām dhun (Hindu devotional song for the deity Rāma) was played. The patient did not show any signs of pain or any pain behavior during the extraction procedure, indicating that analgesia was induced through music.

This according to “Extraction of a grossly decayed tooth without local anesthesia but with audio analgesia: A case report” by Manish Bhagania and Anirudha Agnihotry (Music and medicine: An interdisciplinary journal III/4 [October 2011] n.p.). Below, Morari Bapu sings the Rām dhun Hare Rām.


Filed under Curiosities, Science

9 Responses to Dhuns and dentistry

  1. This is Dr. Anirudha here and this was my idea. I randomly happened to see this post and am glad to see it. Let me know, if you have any querries. Thanks a lot for spreading the word.

  2. George Cran

    That sounds like a great idea to divert the pain of an extraction. I wish my dentist in colorado would avail this option too .

  3. Mhina Fheam

    This is really remarkable! I showed this to tucson dentists and they said that its even better because no drugs were applied to her. It’s not yet advisable because there every person differ from one another when it comes to pain tolerance.

  4. Absolutely fantastic story!

  5. Thanks for the testimony, Joe!

  6. Pingback: Improbable Research » Blog Archive » Music That Overwhelms Tooth Pain, They Say

  7. Joe Orchard

    Testimony: In college, after I had my wisdom teeth extracted, there were some minor complications. Apparently, I was having trouble keeping the area clean. In order to address the problem, the surgeon had to do some minor, but painful cutting, but it was not worth using anaesthesia. I happened to have the trio from the last Bach cello suite in my mind, and started humming it. As long as I focused on the music, the pain was only bothersome, but not excruciating.
    Oh, what a piece of work is a man.