Acupuncture may help anxiety when visiting the dentist
Thursday 8th April, 2010
A new study has suggested that acupuncture could be an effective treatment for people who feel anxious about visiting the dentist.
A study found that one in twenty people experienced reduced anxiety while sitting in the dentist chair when acupuncture was performed by the dentist themselves.
Using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) questionnaire, researchers found anxiety scores reduced from the average of 26.5 to 11.5. Of the twenty participants (16 men and 4 women), all were able to continue with their dental treatment after acupuncture was performed.
Two specific acupuncture points were targeted during the study (GV20 and EX6). The top of the head was found to require less effort and was more effective for reducing anxiety within five minutes of treatment.
The findings could help people who have previously used medications, hypnosis or behavioural therapy to reduce anxiety about visiting the dentist. While effective, these treatments can be time consuming as opposed to acupuncture which can produce immediate results.
Authors of the study concluded that “acupuncture may offer a simple and inexpensive method of treatment for anxiety from dental treatment.”