Dentists May Detect “Chemosignals” Released By Stressed Patients, Study Suggests

by Billy Tarpley on May 30, 2018

Appearing in the May 30, 2018 edition of ADA Morning Huddle:

IFL Science (5/25, Dapcevich) reported a new study suggests dental patients may release “chemosignals” when stressed that could affect the performance of dental students and dentists. For the study, 24 dental students treated mannequins wearing t-shirts that had been worn by a different group of dental students while feeling either stressed or calm. In most cases, researchers found “the students performed significantly worse when treating the mannequins wearing the stressed tees and were more likely to make mistakes.” The article reported that the researchers “say this provides evidence that the smell of anxiety can trigger the same feeling in those subconsciously smelling it.” The findings were published in Chemical Senses.

Articles on dental anxiety are available through JADA+ Clinical Scans.

Dentists can refer patients to MouthHealthy.org, ADA’s consumer website, for information on dental anxiety. In addition, JADA For the Patient includes the article, Coping skills for facing dental fears.

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