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Experience of listening to music on patient anxiety during minor oral surgery procedures: a pilot study


Introduction Dental anxiety can hinder the care and management of a patient. Music has been used in various fields of surgery to relax and distract patients.

Aims To study patient response to music during minor oral surgery (MOS), measured quantitatively and by recording physiological parameters.

Design In this pilot study, instrumental music was played for the patient via earphones during MOS treatment. Both physiological and psychological measures of anxiety were recorded using heart rate measurements, patient completed questionnaires and a subjective ten-point anxiety score.

Results Overall, the data show positive results for music and patient experience. Not only did the overall heart rate decrease over the duration of treatment, the majority of patients reported music reduced their anxiety levels (92%) and pain and discomfort. Almost half of the respondents (48%) reported music made communication with the dental team easier and 90% of patients reported that they would request to have music playing during their next dental visit.

Conclusion Music can be helpful in making patients feel more at ease during dental treatment.

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Correspondence to Ashana Gupta.

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Gupta, A., Ahmed, B. Experience of listening to music on patient anxiety during minor oral surgery procedures: a pilot study. Br Dent J 228, 89–92 (2020).

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