In polls of popular fears, right up there with spiders and heights, is always the dentist. Even though we know that our dental health is very important, for some people the anxiety proves too much and their oral hygiene suffers greatly as a result. While it is true that a visit to the dentist isn’t always the most pleasant experience, development in technology has led to the introduction of far less painful and intrusive treatment.
However, some people will still find the experience frightening due to deep-rooted fears and anxieties. Anxious patients often put dentists themselves under pressure which could possibly be detrimental to their own treatment. This negative cycle spirals leading to further treatment and increased waiting time for everyone else.
There may be an answer. Recent studies at King’s College, London have found that the scent of lavender has a calming effect on both patients and practitioners and can break the cycle of anxiety. Patients who were exposed to the scent of lavender in the waiting room prior to their appointments reported feeling much more at ease when they were actually in the chair.
Researcher Koula Asimakopoulou, from the King’s college team said: “Our findings suggest that lavender could certainly be used as an effective ‘on-the-spot’ anxiety reduction in dentists’ waiting rooms. This is a significant difference and it was present regardless of the type of dental appointment.”
For patients who suffer from severe anxiety or even panic attacks when attending dental appointments this may be the answer to breaking the associative disorder obtained form previous bad experiences. Dentists in London W1 are currently using lavender in their waiting rooms to make patients experiences more bearable. After all, every little helps.