New research concludes that acupuncture helps to reduce dental related anxiety. In a patient-blinded randomized controlled investigation, researchers compared 182 patients. One group received true acupuncture at auricular points. The second group received sham acupuncture (non-related acupoints) and a third group did not receive acupuncture or any medical procedures for the treatment of anxiety. The researchers measured anxiety levels prior to getting acupuncture and 20 minutes after receiving acupuncture which was immediately prior to the dental work. Anxiety levels in the true acupuncture group reduced significantly and slightly in the sham acupuncture group. In the non-intervention group, anxiety increased.
The researchers concluded that auricular acupuncture is both minimally invasive and “effectively reduces state anxiety before dental treatment.” The researchers suggest that acupuncture may provide an option to patients suffering from anxiety prior to dental care.
Michalek-Sauberer, Andrea, Gusenleitner, Erich Gleiss, Andreas, Tepper, Gabor, Deusch, Engelbert. Auricular acupuncture effectively reduces state anxiety before dental treatment—a randomised controlled trial. Clinical Oral Investigations. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg; Issn: 1432-6981, 1-6.