Acupuncture Could Cure Odontophobia

Saturday 3rd April 2010

New research suggests that acupuncture could be used to treat people who are scared of visiting the dentist. Results of the research study, published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, shows that acupuncture can be used to successfully calm highly anxious dental patients sufficiently enough to enable them to undergo necessary dental procedures. It is hoped that this research could be used in order to treat people who suffer from Odontophobia: a pathological fear of dentists and dental treatment.

Researchers conducted the clinical study by treating 20 people who had a long standing fear of undergoing dental procedures. They found that they could significantly calm patients by targeting two acupuncture pressure points of top of the head. Only five minutes of acupuncture treatment was necessary and could be administered by dentists themselves. All dentists involved in the study were members of the British Dental Acupuncture Society. After receiving acupuncture from these dentists, all participants were able to undergo dental treatment.

Other methods have been known to successfully calm nervous dental patients including using sedatives, hypnosis, relaxation techniques, behavioural therapies, biofeedback and more. However, the researchers behind this study claim that acupuncture is a much more time-effective option for patients. Alternatives to acupuncture, including hypnosis and using sedatives, must be used in advance of dental visits whereas acupuncture can be administered immediately prior to treatment. It is hoped that further research will lead to the development of acupuncture as a simple and inexpensive method of treating and calming nervous dental patients across the UK.

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