»  News
Dental1 Headlines

Acupuncture Decreases Dental Anxiety

Printer Friendly Version     Email this Article     Links/Reprints


Acupuncture Decreases Dental Anxiety

April 02, 2010
By: Michelle Alford for Dental1

Nearly a third of the Western World suffers from dental anxiety. Dentists fight this condition with massage chairs, soothing music, and other distractions, but a small study published in the March 2010 edition of Acupuncture in Medicine suggests that a five-minute session of acupuncture before dental treatment may be the best solution.

Dr. Palle Rosted of Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield, England, and his colleagues used the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) to measure the anxiety of 20 patients before and after undergoing a five-minute acupuncture treatment. All patients had suffered from moderate to severe dental anxiety (a BAI score greater than 16) for between two and thirty years. Fourteen of the patients had canceled their previous appointments, and the remaining six weren’t able to make it through the entire procedure.

When each of the 20 patients rescheduled their appointments, their dentists suggested acupuncture as a way to calm their nerves. The acupuncture needles were inserted in two locations at the top of the patients’ heads by their dentists, who were also licensed acupuncturists, and were not removed until after the dental procedures.

The patients’ average BAI score decreased from 26.5 to 11.5 and all twenty patients were able to undergo their scheduled dental treatments. The dentists’ average level of anxiety also significantly decreased. Though not the first suggested treatment for dental anxiety, Rosted and his colleagues believe that it’s a better solution than behavioral therapies, sedatives, relaxation techniques, or hypnosis because it’s less time-consuming, less expensive, and has fewer side effects.

While their results aren’t yet conclusive, Rosted and his colleagues believe that a larger study will confirm the value of acupuncture in decreasing dental anxiety.

Read the Acupuncture in Medicine abstract

Discuss it in the forums

Previous Stories

It's National Prosthodontics Awareness Week!

Smile Kids! It's National Children's Dental Health Month

Dreaded Dental Drill to be Replaced by Painless Plasma Jets

more Feature Stories

This locator will help you to find dental specialists in your area
Postal or Zip Code
Is it worth spending money on teeth whitening?
By varana

Posted: Jun 5, 2018
Yes it is worth it. As long as the result is that you have whiter teeth.

more more Forums
Dental1 Hero: Dr. Tom McGuire

Dr. Tom McGuire:

Practicing and Promoting Mercury-Safe Dentistry
  more Heroes
  nominate a Hero
  Hero policy
Home | About Us | Press | Make a Suggestion | Content Syndication | Terms of Service | Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy
Last updated: May 26, 2020  © 2020 Body1 All rights reserved.