Acupressure is a non-invasive variant of acupuncture and is known to reduce general anxiety. The purpose of this study was to test acupressure's effect on children's dental anxiety.
Eight- to 12-year-old children undergoing scaling and/or restorative procedures were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: acupressure (Group 1); sham (Group 2); or control (Group 3). Anxiety was recorded for all the children using the Modified Child Dental Anxiety scale (MCDAS). Acupressure beads with a piece of adhesive strip were employed over the selected acupoints for groups one and two. Anxiety was further recorded for all the children prior to and after completion of the treatment using MCDAS. The Frankl scale was used as the objective measure to assess the behavior of all the children. A physiologic parameter (pulse rate) was also recorded. The scores obtained from all the three groups were tabulated, compared, and analyzed statistically.
A significant difference was found in MCDAS, pulse rate, and the Frankl behavior ratings among the three groups of children, with acupressure group displaying a lower level of anxiety.
Acupressure can be a viable alternative to reduce dental anxiety in children undergoing scaling and restorative procedures.