Researchers from the journal Acupuncture in Medicine have found that acupuncture is able to ease the anxiety of the one in five of us with a fear of dentists.
The treatment is to happen five minutes prior to the patients check-up and involves positioning needles on two specific points located on the top of the head.
These particular points are said to induce calm and relaxation and all 20 participants seemed to agree that the process was effective. All patients were in their 40s and had been suffering with this phobia for up to 30 years, some even requiring a general anaesthetic for a standard check-up.
The participants were asked to rate their level of anxiety both before and after the acupuncture treatment using a scale known as the Beck Anxiety Inventory. In most cases the score fell from 26.5 to 11.5 after acupuncture and even more impressively all patients attended their next check up with relative ease.
These promising results now mean that additional and larger trials can be carried out to see if the effectiveness continues when acupuncture is used for more complex treatments such as extractions.
More information on Acupuncture can be found here.