Acupuncture for Dental Work
Acupuncture is the placement of very fine needles into specific areas of the body to achieve relaxation. This can be accomplished by the direct needling of inflamed muscles to reduce muscle tension by increasing the blood flow to the area. A more general sense of relaxation can be obtained by the needling of acupuncture points which in turn promotes the release of endorphins which act as our bodies’ natural pain relief.
Acupuncture has been in used in dentistry around Europe for more than 25 years. With much neurophysiological research and well-conducted clinical trials, acupuncture has gained acceptance as a valuable tool in the general management of dental pain.
It can be viewed as an effective complimentary aid when used alongside other pain relief methods in dentistry and is a different form of acupuncture from that of its traditional Chinese counterpart. Dental acupuncture is based on the idea that carefully positioned acupuncture needles stimulate nerve endings which directly affects how the body responds to pain. The dentist can place needles in areas which will give the patient effective drug-free pain relief during dental procedures.
Acupuncture and Dental Work FAQ’s
Acupuncture is a relatively painless treatment and can be used as a complementary method of pain reduction on many people. However, it is not for everyone, and often patients with an aversion to needles will feel trepidation initially. Patients with a higher level of dental pain often find acupuncture to be a fast and effective form of pain relief before and after dental work.
Not always. Acupuncture is not a miracle cure for oral pain, and some patients fail to respond to it. Usually after 3 or 4 sessions patients will be reviewed to ascertain if they are getting suitable pain relief from the treatment.
Large scale studies have concluded that 5 treatments are the average number for most patients, however for more chronic conditions, more may be required.
Some patients report almost immediate pain relief using acupuncture treatment. Especially in cases of acute headache, however, this is can be short-lived. Often the period of relief will be extended with each further visit until the condition is under control.