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Acupuncture Calms Anxious Dental Patients

Acupuncture can calm highly anxious dental patients and ensure that they can be given the treatment they need, a small study suggests.

A visit to the dentist provokes extreme fear and anxiety in an estimated one in 20 people, and can put them off going altogether, a condition termed odontophobia. And up to a third of patients report moderate anxiety at the prospect of dental treatment.  Many attempts have been made to conquer this type of anxiety, including sedatives, relaxation techniques, behavioral therapies, biofeedback and hypnosis.

The authors base their findings on 16 women and four men from eight dental practice lists. Each of the patients was moderately or extremely anxious about going to the dentist, but their anxiety levels decreased significantly following acupuncture treatment.

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