This weekend I attended the British Dental Acupuncture introductory course. I see this as another string to my bow, and another tool in the box for treating anxioius patients. As all anxious and phobic patients are different so the approach we need to take to treating them should be different and individual.
There have been many papers relating to the use of acupuncture in the dental journals over the years and it's main value appears to be in the management of patients with a severe gag reflex. Imagine taking bitewings radiographs with good tolerance fom the patients. I have several patients who have severe gag reflexes and I'm looking forward to trying this out.
Another example of where acupuncture seems to work really well is in the management of TMD and the headaches that are as a result of this. TMD is a common stress related condition with patients complaining of pain and/or impaired function of the TMJ. Stress related bruxing seems to be the main aetiological factor and other symptoms may include clicking or locking in the joint, pain that radiates to the ear, and often to the temporal region, chronic facial pain, neck pain or migraine.