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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-21

The role of acupuncture in the treatment of prosthodontic patients with a gagging reflex

Department of Growth and Development, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Raghad Hashim
Department of Growth and Development, College of Dentistry, Ajman University of Science and Technology, Ajman University, P.O. Box 346, Ajman
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9626.198602

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Aim and Objectives: Hyperactive gag reflex (GR) can be a big obstacle in certain dental procedures especially in making an upper arch impression. Treating those might be a challenge for both the dentist and the patient. Many patients withdraw from treatment because of their inability to cope with the procedure. One of the effective modalities in controlling this phenomenon is the use of Acupuncture. In this trial, Ear acupuncture was used aiming to control hyperactive GR during upper alginate impression. Methods: A total of ten patients aged between 20 and 60 years, with a history of GR on taking dental impressions were selected to be part of this clinical trial. All patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria had an upper dental alginate impression taken (or an attempt made at it) before acupuncture and a second upper alginate impression taken immediately after acupuncture based on traditional Chinese medicine. The gagging severity index used to assess GR before insertion of the acupuncture needle while gagging prevention index was used after the acupuncture and impression taking. Results: Seven patients scored I with the reflex obtunded and the impression taking carried out successfully, one patient scored II with the reflex partially controlled and impression taking still possible, two patients scored III with the reflex partially controlled but with frequent gagging and impression taking still possible. No adverse effects were observed, and patients were fit to leave unescorted. Conclusions: Ear acupuncture was found to be effective in controlling GR in all ten participants in different levels.

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