The severe anxiety from even the THOUGHT of seeing a dentist, even if there’s nausea and trembling, can be relieved with acupuncture.
If dental visits have you terrified, acupuncture may be your solution, says a study that reviewed six trials with 800 patients.
- The University of York researchers used a points scale to measure levels of anxiety.
- Acupuncture reduced dental anxiety by eight points.
Petrified of the Dentist
Many people are simply scared out of their wits at the idea of someone “poking around” in their mouth.
Sometimes the issue is more about embarrassment over the condition of one’s teeth rather than fear of pain.
Acupuncture for Dentist Fear
“Acupuncture has severe benefits including pain relief, relaxation and improvement in overall well-being,” says Brijesh Chandwani, DMD, BDS, Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain, with Connecticut & NY TMJ.
Dr. Chandwani, a Harvard Medical School trained acupuncturist, explains, “Dental visit anxiety stems from a few different reasons: unpleasant previous dental experience, strong gag reflex, low pain threshold, chronic pain (or other chronic disease) condition in the body, perceptions of and nature of dental treatments (for example the anxiety is much more for procedures like extraction compared to teeth cleaning).
“While anti-anxiety medications are mostly used to reduce dental anxiety, there is very good proof that behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy and acupuncture are effective — and they do not have side effects associated with drug therapy.
“Research studies have found that auricular (ear) acupuncture is as effective as anti-anxiety medications in reducing anxiety related to dental procedures.
“Very thin acupuncture needles are usually inserted in a few points in the ear for anxiety.
“When available (dentist trained in acupuncture), acupuncture is an excellent modality to alleviate dental visit anxiety.”
The University of York Study
The researchers wondered how well acupuncture would do to reduce the anxiety associated with visits to the dentist.
Sure enough, acupuncture made a clinically significant difference, with that eight point reduction on the anxiety scale.
The full report is in the May 2018 European Journal of Integrative Medicine.