The Effects of Lavender Scent on Dental Patient Anxiety Levels: A Cluster Randomised-Controlled Trial

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2010 Feb;38(1):83-7. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0528.2009.00511.x. Epub 2009 Nov 23.

Kritsidima M(1), Newton T, Asimakopoulou K.

Author information:
(1)King's College London, Dental Institute, Denmark Hill, London, UK.

OBJECTIVES: To review the effect of lavender scent on anticipatory anxiety in dental participants.

METHODS: In a cluster randomized-controlled trial, patients' (N = 340) anxiety was assessed while waiting for a scheduled dental appointment, either under the odor of lavender or with no odor. Current anxiety, assessed by the brief State Trait Anxiety Indicator (STAI-6), and generalized dental anxiety, assessed by the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS) were examined.

RESULTS: Analyses of variance (anovas) showed that although both groups showed similar, moderate levels of generalized dental anxiety (MDAS F((1,338)) = 2.17, P> 0.05) the lavender group reported significantly lower current anxiety (STAI:F((1,338)) = 74.69, P < 0.001) than the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: Although anxiety about future dental visits seems to be unaffected, lavender scent reduces state anxiety in dental patients.

PMID: 19968674  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]