Dental patient anxiety: Possible deal with Lavender fragrance

J Res Pharm Pract. 2014 Jul;3(3):100-3. doi: 10.4103/2279-042X.141116.


Objective: The pure essence of plants (essential oils) provides both psychological and physiological benefits when used accurately and safely. Conventionally, Lavender oil is known for relaxing, carminative, and sedative effects. Hence, an attempt was made to know the effect of Lavender essential oil on dental patient anxiety.

Methods: The present study included two comparison groups (Lavender and control group), each comprising five dental clinics. In Lavender group, the ambient odor of Lavender essential oil was maintained with the help of a candle warmer in the reception area and in the control group, candle warmer with normal water was used. A total of 597 patients, aged above 18 years were included. A questionnaire comprising demographic information, and a modified dental anxiety scale was given to the patients in waiting room, and data regarding anxiety levels was recorded.

Findings: Student's t-test (unpaired) showed a significant reduction in anxiety scores of Lavender group compared with the control group. Analysis of variances test showed reduction in anxiety scores as age increased in Lavender group.

Conclusion: Fragrance of Lavender oil at reception area may effectively reduce the patient's state or current anxiety. This practice on routine usage can improve the quality of dental treatments.

Keywords: Aromatherapy; Lavender oil; dental anxiety; dental treatments.