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Oral Dis. 2001 Mar;7(2):109-15.

Practical recommendations for the use of acupuncture in the treatment of temporomandibular disorders based on the outcome of published controlled studies.

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  • 1Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK.



The objective is to analyse the treatment procedures used in the individual studies to identify any similarities of therapeutic approaches and subsequently present recommendations for a standard acupuncture procedure for the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).


Literature searches performed by the Royal Society of Medicine and the University Library, Copenhagen were able to identify 74 publications regarding the use of acupuncture in dentistry. Among them 14 papers concerned the use of acupuncture in the treatment of TMD. To ensure reasonable methodological soundness of the involved studies, only randomised and blinded studies were included, which reduced the number of papers to six. Among these six papers three concerns the same study and were counted as one. One paper was a follow-up of a previous study and for this purpose counted as one.


All publications were analysed for the following information: acupuncture points used, type of stimulation, number of treatments, duration of the individual treatment and the interval between the individual treatments.


Acupuncture has in three out of three randomised controlled trials (RCT) proved effective for the treatment of TMD. The following local acupuncture points are recommended for the treatment of TMD: ST-6, ST-7, SI-18, GV-20, GB-20, BL-10. As a distant point LI-4 is recommended. After inserting the needles they should be manipulated manually to achieve the De-qui sensation and left in situ for 30 min. Treatment should be given weekly and a total number of six treatments is recommended.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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