One thing most people immediately notice when walking into a room is the smell. Certain smells can trigger unpleasant memories in places like the dental office, which could affect how often people go. One way to change the atmosphere is through aromatherapy. Essential oils can turn a distressing dental office smell into a more calm and comforting experience.
Here’s how it works:
What’s That Dental Office Smell?
Some of the products used in dental work can be irksome to patients. One example is eugenol, or clove oil, used in most dental fillings. It’s the most common smell at the dentist, and the most unpleasant smell for people who are scared of the dentist.
Dental procedures that involve drilling the tooth can give off what’s known as “tooth dust,” which can also be off-putting.
Additionally, strong smells from antibacterial soap, latex gloves, and products used to sanitize dental tools, like bleach or glutaraldehyde, can be discomforting to patients.
Since smells are linked to emotions and memory, pungent dental office smells can trigger anxiety in patients who’ve had less than ideal experiences at the dentist.
How Aromatherapy Can Help
Most people think of aromatherapy as an add-on at the spa, but its benefits are also good for dentistry. Using aromatherapy and essential oils like lavender and orange have been proven to reduce anxiety in dental patients. People who were stimulated by either scent while waiting for dental treatment said they were more relaxed, less anxious, and in a better mood than people who weren’t stimulated. Lavender or orange scents can help change how people feel about the dentist.
Talk to your dentist about the possibility of using aromatherapy to change the dental office smell in your next appointment.
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