A study has supported the use of acupuncture for treating dental anxiety.
Research carried out by teams in Sweden, Denmark and the UK, claims that acupuncture is an effective treatment for dental anxiety, a problem that affects a high proportion of dental patients.
The study involved a group of 20 people, including four men and 16 women in their 40’s. All the participants suffered from dental anxiety and had been looking for ways of dealing with it for between 2 and 30 years. The participants were questioned about their anxiety levels through a questionnaire, which was carried out prior to and after acupuncture treatment. Dentists treated the patients with a 5 minute acupuncture session, which involved using two acupuncture points on the top of the head.
Anxiety levels were measured before and after acupuncture treatment and levels fell from 26.5 to 11.5 after treatment; the reduction in anxiety enabled all patients to undergo the treatment they needed. This was a huge improvement from before the study when only six patients were able to have dental treatment.
The researchers have called for further studies in this area to provide more evidence to support the efficacy of acupuncture treatment for dental anxiety; the results of this study were very positive, but it was only a small study and further research is required.
Research suggests that around 1 in 20 people suffer from severe dental anxiety, which often prevents them from having routine dental treatment. Acupuncture could be a safe, simple and inexpensive means of treating dental anxiety, which would enable people to have regular dental treatment and cut their dental bills significantly in the long-term.