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It is well established that regular visits to the dentist are necessary to avoid serious health problems. That said, there are a small group of people who suffer from dental anxiety - or odontophobia - and often delay visits to their dentist in an effort to evade their fear.
Fortunately, a team of UK researchers has reportedly found that acupuncture can safely and effectively relieve dental anxiety and may allow nervous patients to receive necessary treatment.
In the study, lead researcher Palle Rosted, from the department of oncology at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield, England, and his colleagues monitored 20 individuals suffering from moderate to severe odontophobia, 14 of whom were unable to visit their dental provider due to their fear, according to Health Day News.
Each patient's anxiety level was checked both before and after treatment with acupuncture using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) questionnaire. After only five minutes of acupuncture, the average score dropped from 26.5 to 11.5, and enabled all 20 patients to receive dental care.
"From a scientific point of view, we demonstrated that 70 percent of patients had an effect of the treatment," said Rosted. "From a practical point of view, and that is the important thing, we demonstrated that it was possible to carry out the planned dental treatment in all patients."
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