Indian investigators have found that acupuncture is more effective for pain relief than analgesics in the treatment of pulpitis (inflammation of dental pulp tissue). A total of 157 patients were randomly assigned to three groups; real acupuncture with placebo drug, sham acupuncture with placebo drug, and sham acupuncture with ibuprofen. Acupuncture needles were inserted for 15-20 minutes at Hegu L.I.-4, Jiache ST-6, Xiaguan ST-7 and Yifeng SJ-17 on the same side as the dental pain. Needling was carried out at non-acupoints for sham acupuncture. Patients treated with acupuncture reported faster pain relief that was sustained over a longer period of time, compared with both the sham and analgesics groups.
Comparison of Acupuncture with Ibuprofen for Pain Management in Patients with Symptomatic Irreversible Pulpitis: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial.
J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Dec;10(6):396-401.