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.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aromatherapy*
  • Dental Anxiety / classification
  • Dental Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Dental Care / psychology
  • Dental Prophylaxis / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lavandula*
  • Male
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Pain / psychology
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tooth Extraction / psychology
  • Tooth Preparation / psychology


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil