Can lavender oil inhalation help to overcome dental anxiety and pain in children? A randomized clinical trial

Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Jun;179(6):985-992. doi: 10.1007/s00431-020-03595-7. Epub 2020 Feb 6.


Aromatherapy with essential oils can be used to relieve children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlations between psychological and physiologic findings after lavender oil inhalation among children assigned to undergo tooth extraction. A total of 126 children aged between 6 and 12 years were enrolled in the study. The groups were randomly divided into control and lavender groups. The lavender group inhaled 100% lavender oil for 3 min before the interventions, the control group received no prior application. Psychological assessments were made using face image scale (FIS), Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability (FLACC) and Wong-Baker pain rating scale (WBS). Physiologic changes were assessed using vital signs evaluations. All parameters were noted prior to applications, after inhalation, anesthesia injection, and tooth extraction. The lavender group showed significant lower anxiety and pain scores after tooth extraction (p < 0.05). Significantly lower levels of blood pressures and a significant pulse rate drop were found after inhalation in the lavender group. A statistically significant increase in heart rate was observed after anesthesia injection and tooth extraction in the control group (p < 0.05).Conclusion: Lavender oil can be preferred as a treatment of choice in routine pediatric dentistry.Trial registration number: NCT04115891 (Lavender Oil Inhalation Help to Overcome Dental Anxiety Among Children)What is Known:• Dental anxiety is the most common factor that causes children to have difficulty with the dentist and their parents during treatment.• Aromatherapy with essential oils can be used to relieve children.What is New:• Aromatherapy with lavender oil relieves the child by reducing the level of anxiety and facilitates dental treatment.• During surgical procedures such as local anesthesia and tooth extraction, lavender oil inhalation decreases pain levels of children.

Keywords: Anxiety; Clinical trial; Inhalation; Lavender; Pediatric dentistry.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aromatherapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Dental Anxiety / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lavandula
  • Male
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Procedural / diagnosis
  • Pain, Procedural / therapy*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • lavender oil