Acupuncture: a possible treatment for dental anxiety
Dental phobia and dental anxiety are common in at least 30% of the population in the world. Fear of needles and anaesthesia prevents them from getting dental treatments, leaving them exposed to all kinds of dental issues. After recent studies and experiments, it is now proven that acupuncture is a good remedy for those who have dental anxiety and phobia. It helps reduce the pain, fear, nausea and nervousness of the patient which allows them to open their minds towards dental treatments or any other treatment that involves needles and anaesthesia.
Assessment for dental anxiety; how does acupuncture help?
Fear and anxiety regarding anything is not a joke and are a very serious issue that needs to be put under the spotlight more. How do you assess dental anxiety? For starters, a survey is done to assess the level of dental fear against several appliances presented to the patient to record their reactions. There are two types of tests - The Modified Child Dental Anxiety Scale is for children and the Index of Dental Anxiety and Fear for adults. In these tests, they vote on 8 appliances according to their fear and it is scaled from 1 to 5, 5 being the most worrisome. Assessments such as the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) or the Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scales which are questionnaire themed tests are also common in this field.
Treatment with Acupuncture
You might be wondering how sticking a bunch of pins on a person who’s already afraid of needles is going to help with their anxiety. Acupuncture is not the same as needles; they don’t completely penetrate the skin. A dentist must be certified in the practices of acupuncture to treat patients with anxiety. The GV20 acupuncture point located at the top of the head is claimed to be the most relaxing for the patient and so does the EX6 acupuncture point in the abdomen region. Dentists have tried using acupuncture right before a dental treatment and in most cases, it works! If it is a high scaled anxiety patient who cannot handle the needles of acupuncture, acupressure or essential oils are used on the points to relax them.
Do you ever wonder why dentists are really friendly and ask you questions about your life even with their hands in your mouth? They need to create a comfortable environment which is important for a patient who has dental anxiety. So once the acupuncture is done, the dentist must persuade the patient into a dental treatment and reassure them that they won’t feel any pain. They start with small procedures such as checking for oral diseases and cleaning. Once the patient is familiar with the dentist, they can move forward with advanced treatments if need be.
Most people fail to understand the use of acupuncture in general when they see no result. However, for those with a severe case of anxiety, find peace and tranquility within the process. For dental anxiety, it is seen that patients only agree to dental treatments after an episode of acupuncture of any relaxation remedy. Despite having no alibi to support the fact that acupuncture does help, dentists find the knowledge of acupuncture essential to help their cases with anxiety patients. Any form of therapy that reduces the anxiety of a person is a victory for the patient and if acupuncture is one of them, it should be practiced more.
Let’s get into a trance of absolute exhilaration and activate all our qi points through acupuncture to cope with dental fear and anxiety and say yes to dental treatments.
If you interest is piqued and you want to get rid of your dental fear, here’s an article on the ‘tips for fighting your fear or anxiety of the dentist.’
Last updated on 04 March, 2019.