Researchers from King’s College in London report (page 163) “Lavender could … be used as effective ‘on-the-spot’ anxiety reduction in dentists’ waiting rooms.”

First, the details.

  • 4340 dental patients were assessed for their level of anxiety while waiting for a scheduled dental appointment.
  • They were then randomly assigned to exposure to lavender odor or not.
  • Anxiety was assessed using the brief State Trait Anxiety Indicator, and generalized dental anxiety using the Modified Dental Anxiety Scale.

And, the results.

  • Both groups showed similar, moderate levels of generalized dental anxiety.
  • But when exposed to lavender odor there was significantly lower anxiety vs the control group.

The bottom line?
Lead author Dr. Metaxia Kritsidima said: “The anxiety experienced by these patients once they get to the dentist is stressful not only for them, but also for the dental team. Working under a state of increased tension may potentially compromise their performance, as well as lengthening appointment times. This is why finding a way of reducing dental anxiety is really important.”

9/14/08 16:43 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.