Research: ROSTED, Sheffield Univ

Listed in Issue 39


ROSTED, Sheffield University, UK conducted a review of the literature regarding the efficacy of acupuncture in dentistry.



Methods: A literature search, carried out by the Royal Society of Medicine and the University Library, Copenhagen Denmark identified 74 publications written in 8 European languages between the years 1966-96, under the search headings of acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, randomised controlled trials (RCT), dental pain, postoperative dental pain, painrelieving in dentistry and dental analgesia . From the 74 listed papers, 48 papers were reviewed in English, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and German; 15 papers were excluded due to being written in French, Italian or Russian, and 11 were excluded due to not being a RCT or not of relevance to acupuncture. All papers were scored on the basis of predefined criteria; 92 points could be achieved. On this scale, papers were rated as Excellent (85-100%; Good (70-84%); Fair (60-69%; and Bad (<60%). 15 of the 48 papers met the inclusion criteria.


There was only one study which met the criteria scoring more than 85%; 5 studies met the criteria with 70-84%; 3 studies scored 60-69% and 6 studies did not meet the criteria. Acupuncture in 11 out of 15 studies proved effective in the treatment of temperomandibular dysfunction (TMD) and as an analgesia . 4 studies showed no effect of acupuncture.


The value of acupuncture as an analgesic needs to be questioned . The effect of acupuncture for the treatment of TMD and facial pain appears to be real, and in these clinical conditions, acupuncture may be a valuable alternative to orthodox treatment.


Rosted P. The use of acupuncture in dentistry: a review of the scientific validity of published papers. Oral Dis 4(2): 100-4 June 1998.

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