Acupuncture and Dentistry

Does a trip to the dentist or hygienist make you anxious?

Does your gag reflex prevent you from getting your teeth cleaned comfortably?

If so, it might be worth considering acupuncture as a treatment option. But what exactly is it and where can you have it done?

What is acupuncture? 

It involves the insertion of extremely thin sterile needles through your skin at strategic points on your body.

Originating in China more than 3000 years ago, it is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine to balance the flow of life’s energy known a qi (chi).

Qi is believed to flow through pathways called meridians in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance and your yin & yang will be equal.

Now acupuncture is widely used as a form of complementary treatment in western medicine. Practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. It is believed that this stimulation increases blood flow, boosting your body’s natural painkillers such as endorphins and serotonin. Blockages or disruption in this flow can result in pain or illness and acupuncture can help open pathways, stimulating the body’s healing and relaxing abilities.

Each patient responds to acupuncture differently, some people notice an immediate improvement, while others need several treatments to experience the full effect. Some may not respond at all. The British Dental Acupuncture Association reported that about 70% of patients show some benefit.

How is it beneficial to dentistry? 

The use of acupuncture can help relieve the stress and anxiety of dental treatment. It can also be used to help reduce a patient’s gag reflex making treatment a lot more comfortable.

If you would like to know more about treatment with acupuncture please contact the practice for a consultation with our hygienist, Gemma, who may be able to make treatment a lot more comfortable for you.

During your consultation she will take a detailed history of your general and dental health and will discuss the treatment of acupuncture and assess if and how it would work for  you. She can carry out an assessment of your mouth and plan the treatment required.

Please note Gemma is not a dentist. If you require treatment such as a check up, xrays, fillings etc she will refer you to one of our dentists here. We will all work together to make the treatment as stress free and comfortable as possible.

If you have any further questions please contact us.

(Photo courtesy of Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)