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Acupuncture could 'help anxious dental patients'


People who are nervous about going to visit their dentist could benefit from acupuncture, a new study has suggested.

Conducted by dentists at eight dental practices, the research found that the procedure reduced anxiety in all 20 patients.

Stress levels more than halved in those involved in the study, which was published in Acupuncture in Medicine.

While they noted that more extensive studies are needed, the authors of the research concluded: "Acupuncture prior to dental treatment has a beneficial effect on the level of anxiety in patients with dental anxiety and may offer a simple and inexpensive method of treatment."

Acupuncture is a procedure which involves inserting very fine needles into strategic points in the body.

In Chinese acupuncture these points are linked with the flow of energy channels around the body.

However, medical acupuncture pinpoints stress locations at which muscles may have become tight, which may explain why the treatment helps patients to relax.  

© Adfero Ltd


Dentistry news update: 31 March 2010