17 Apr Can Acupuncture Help Ease Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety causes many people to delay or avoid dental care, whether you need dental cleanings done or any other type of dental work. Some people turn to acupuncture to help them feel less nervous. Understanding acupuncture may help provide anxiety relief when you visit your dentist in Phoenix. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture has been used to ease anxiety and provide other benefits, such as pain relief, for many years. It comes from traditional Chinese medicine, where it is believed to remove energy blockages in the body. Traditional practitioners of acupuncture believe blockages affect the mind and body in different ways, including causing physical discomfort and anxiety. Eliminating these blockages helps relieve the physical and mental symptoms a person experiences.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture involves the use of extremely thin needles, inserted at specific places on your body. Depending on symptoms you experience, the needles placed in certain areas remove blockages along the energy pathways or meridians in your body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, clearing out blockages along these pathways helps restore balance and ease physical and mental symptoms. In western medicine, however, acupuncturists use this technique to stimulate certain parts of your body, such as nerves and muscles, to relieve anxiety, pain and other symptoms.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained practitioner. Although needles are used for this technique, the thinness of the needles means you’re unlikely to feel any significant pain or discomfort. Acupuncture sessions typically use several needles, kept in place for a short period of time. Some patients find that acupuncture, when done safely, eases their anxiety.
Dental Anxiety and Acupuncture
How effective is acupuncture for dental anxiety? Some studies have shown that anxiety decreases as a result of acupuncture. Primarily, this technique may work effectively to relieve physical symptoms that occur with conditions like dental anxiety. This includes dizziness, breathing trouble or nausea. If you experience these symptoms or suffer from other symptoms of dental anxiety, acupuncture might help you feel more comfortable before and during dental visits. You might even benefit from acupuncture to ease pain after a dental procedure. Or you may choose to have acupuncture done prior to your appointment to relieve your anxiety.
Benefits of Acupuncture for Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety leads many patients to avoid skipping appointments or avoiding routine cleanings and exams. Without regular care, you may develop tooth and gum problems, especially when left untreated. Without routine cleanings and check-ups, many patients need more invasive dental work. As much anxiety as you may feel regarding a cleaning, imagine how you’ll feel during a root canal or something more complex.
Acupuncture may also help you feel less anxious about having dental work or procedures done promptly. Keep in mind that delaying or treatment may lead to severe complications that affect your overall health. By working with an acupuncturist, you may make it easier to see your dentist sooner rather than later.
Acupuncture may not be right for you. Other options exist to help you handle your anxiety like dental sedation. Sedation, oral or IV options, provide relief from anxiety when you come in for an appointment. Your dentist will help you figure out which type of sedation is best for you. If you suffer from dental anxiety, give us a call. We offer dental sedation in Phoenix and Mesa to ease your fears, so get the dental care you need when you need it.