Auriculotherapy used to manage orthodontic pain: a randomized controlled pilot study


Introduction: Several methods are commonly used to decrease orthodontic pain, but versatile tools and standardized protocols are still lacking. Objective: In response to the need for alternatives to conventional analgesic methods, this study evaluates the analgesic effects of auriculotherapy (AT) during the first three months of fixed orthodontic treatment. Methods: A sample of 36 subjects was selected, with patients randomly allocated into two homogeneous groups, Study Group (SG) and Control Group (CG), depending on the application/non-application of AT. Patients rated their pain scores monthly from 0 to 10, on visual analogue scales (VAS) at the time of bonding (T0 ) and again at two appliance adjustments (T1 and T2 ). At each of these treatment phases, VAS was applied in six different time moments (TM): immediately before, immediately after, after 4 hours, after 8 hours, after 24 hours, and after 72h hours. Descriptive statistical analysis, a Student’s t-test, and a Chi-square test were applied to the collected data (statistical significance for p < 0.05). Results: SG patients reported lower pain levels than CG patients, both at T0, T1 and T2 . Moreover, average pain intensity values were lower in the SG for all TM analyzed, with the t-test significant (p < 0.05) for most TMs. Conclusion: AT was effective in the pain treatment of patients with fixed orthodontic appliances. Further studies are needed with a sham control group to confirm the validity of these results.

Keywords: Pain. Fixed orthodontic appliance. Auriculotherapy. Acupuncture.

How to cite: Serritella E, Impellizzeri A, Liguori A, Galluccio G. Auriculotherapy used to manage orthodontic pain: a randomized controlled pilot study. Dental Press J Orthod. 2021;26(6):e2119381.

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