Acupuncture is not going to replace the drill, but it certainly has quite a lot to offer in dentistry.
Conditions that your dentist might treat with acupuncture are the following:
You may know that acupuncture uses fine needles. Typically these are inserted through the skin and gently stimulated by hand or sometimes with a gentle electrical current from a torch battery. The treatment doesn’t generally take very long, often uses about half a dozen needles (this varies on the patient), and is not usually painful, although there may be some discomfort. Your dentist may do some other dental treatment whilst the acupuncture works. Sometimes the position of the needles can seem strange, but there are specific patterns for treatments.
Modern research has shown that acupuncture can work on most of the body’s systems. The needles stimulate the nervous system, to produce a number of effects, modifying the way pain signals are felt, and releasing natural painkillers– endorphin and serotonin in the nervous system. But acupuncture does more than just control pain, it has a generally beneficial effect on health, and many patients feel better in general, and sleep better following a treatment.
Treatments may begin with weekly sessions, with further visits as prescribed by your dentist. About half a dozen treatments is a common prescription.
We can show by experiment that acupuncture works, and that the results are not due to the placebo effect.
People will respond to acupuncture in their own way. Some patients notice an immediate improvement; some find that several treatments are needed before the full effect is felt. There are some that do not respond to this type of treatment. Generally about 70% of patients show some benefits
Many patients feel a little tired after a treatment. Occasionally the acupuncture sites may feel slightly bruised for 24 hours or so. It is not uncommon for patients to notice other changes, for example their back pain improves, or other aches change and become more obvious as the major problem is treated and improves. If you have any worries please ask your dentist.