Music and Dental Health

Medical research concluded that places such as emergency rooms and physical therapy practices, use music to ease stress, improve immune and hormone production, reduce pain and elevate mood. Does music show positive benefits to dental health and produce a perfect remedy to cure dental anxiety?

With the advancement of technology and the world of mobile technology, most individuals listen to music at high levels throughout the day. Whether it is on their way to work or while doing weekly activities, music has a strong impact on an individual’s mood. According to CloudCover, music has been known to reduce stress and increase physical energy. However, this notion is based upon the tempo, melody, and genre of music the individual is listening to. Regardless, these melodic sounds can be used as ways to distract or soothe people from their daily stress. What about teeth? Does music show positive benefits to dental health and produce a perfect remedy to cure dental anxiety?

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Antonio Guillem/

Dental Anxiety

For many individuals, dental anxiety is a complete struggle and an ongoing fear for many. One of the most stressful things individuals do is go to the dentist. Dentist anxiety surrounds the fear and stress associated with dental settings. Thankfully, there are plenty of dental remedies you can do at home saving you from the anxiety of going to the dentist’s office. The fear of dentist offices can result in poor dental hygiene and or avoiding severe dental treatment. Components such as needles and dental drills are objects that can trigger dental anxiety. However, the main complaint amongst individuals struggling with dental anxiety fears the discomfort during routine cleaning.

According to Schafferdental, routine dental cleaning is known as prophylaxis. During the teeth cleaning, the dentist polishes and scales a patient’s teeth to remove tartar buildup above the gum line. With a sometimes-painful procedure such as routine cleaning, playing calming sounds such as classical and ambiance (instrumental) music can reduce the stress that comes with dental anxiety. Medical research surrounding patient care concluded that places such as emergency rooms and physical therapy practices, use music to ease stress, improve immune and hormone production, reduce pain and elevate mood. A researched study of 34 patients with dental anxiety found that elements of music therapy during dental cleaning decreased cortisol.


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Altrendo Images/

Classical Music

 The most effective music choices for patients and employees in dental environments are music genres and tracks with lower decibel levels. Additionally, music choices or songs alter the attention of the nervous patient or soothe the employees performing stressful daily dental tasks. However, there may be areas of the practice, that invite higher energy. Up-tempo music may be good for the back-office employees, as slow music may not be good for employees who need to stay awake.

Because of the positive impact music has on distressing, dental offices, whether music is played in the background of the waiting room or music produced in headphones for patients, easy access to a rotating musical library should be important. The development of music’s contribution to easing stress was examined in a case study of 200 patients. The patients were divided into two groups as the examination of classical music and dental treatment of questioned. The first group listened to classical music apart from the second group that did not have access to music. A questionnaire given before and after the treatment concluded that classical music was considered valuable and crucial for a relaxing atmosphere. The first group was more treatable, less tense, and handled positively different areas of the treatment including numbing, drilling, etc. Another study was conducted surrounding dentistry for children. The study found that music during the sedation period, improved recovery rates after the procedure.

Sounds such as music have not always served positive benefits within dental health spaces. When it comes to dental hygienists and their assistants, hearing loss over time may occur. This notion is due to the loud instruments and tools being used for varying treatments of patients. Music being played at high volume at the dentist’s office results in the same effects. Therefore, the office of dental work should keep the noise level of music to 60 decibels throughout the entire environment. Additionally, playing music more softly (40 decibels) could reduce the stress levels more substantially.

So, the next time an individual struggles with the stress of their next dental visit, music may be a crucial part of calming their nerves. Additionally, dental employees and patients benefit from soft low tempo music in areas of the dental environment such as the waiting room. As music continues to bring people together, it can be a form of medicine as well!


Photo: Vladimir Sukhachev/

Read another article about music here:

The Music of Black History Month

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