I think it is fair to say that nobody really likes going to the dentist and for many of us it is a source of dread. Often the thought is worse than the actual event but even so, too much tension makes a visit to the dentist uncomfortable and energy-sapping. Many essential oils have traditionally been used to calm the nerves but studies show that some oils can be of benefit for dental fears in particular.
A study carried out by the the Department of Neurology at Vienna General Hospital looked at the effects of lavender and orange essential oils on anxiety prior to a dental appointment. A group of 200 people were assigned to one of four groups. Two groups were exposed to an ambient odour of lavender or orange whilst waiting for their appointment. Another group were played music, and a fourth group had no scent or music. The result showed that, in comparison to the control group, both ambient odours reduced anxiety and improved the mood of the participants.
Lavender essential oil was also shown to be of benefit to nervous dental patients in a trial published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. This research concluded that although anxiety about future dental visits seemed to be unaffected, the lavender scent reduced immediate anxiety in dental patients.
So next time you visit the dentist why not try a little orange or lavender oil to soothe your experience. Pop a couple of drops on a tissue and place in a ziplock bag, or use an aroma stick.