©Arlene Taylor PhD

The greatest objects of fear appear to be the needle and the dental drill, although there don’t seem to be differences between males and females in terms of rates of dental anxiety and phobia. The smell of the dental office can also be a factor in producing dental anxiety and phobia.

There are differences in way in which the olfactory systems of males and females respond to odor, and in response rates to preventive strategies for dental anxiety.

The odor of eugenol (e.g., may resemble the smell of cloves) has been correlated with fear of pain, dental phobia, and anxiety in males and females.

Female Brains

Preventive Strategy Response

The use of natural essential oil of orange appeared to mask the odor of eugenol and reduced anxiety / improved mood

Male Brains

Preventive Strategy Response

The use of natural essential oil of orange did not appear to mask odor or have a sedative effect

 

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