Indian researchers studying the effectiveness of acupuncture for dental pain, have found it offers better pain relief than analgesics for inflamed dental pulp. A total of 157 patients aged 18 to 49, were randomly allocated to receive either real acupuncture plus placebo drug, sham acupuncture plus placebo drug, or sham acupuncture plus ibuprofen. All participants had been diagnosed with symptomatic irreversible pulpitis at the SRM Dental College, Tamil Nadu, and were in moderate to severe pain.
Patients treated with real acupuncture reported faster, more sustained pain relief compared with the other treatment arms. The authors conclude that acupuncture is a safer and more effective alternative to analgesics for management of pain in patients with symptomatic irreversible pulpitis.
(Comparison of Acupuncture with Ibuprofen for Pain Management in Patients with Symptomatic Irreversible Pulpitis: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial. Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, December 2017.)