Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Allied Health

Document Type



As a dental hygienist, it is important to understand new concepts and techniques that can contribute to a more comfortable setting for patients who experience dental anxiety. Alternative pain control methods can assist in alleviating patient anxiety, therefore, providing a more efficient and relaxed clinical atmosphere for both patient and clinician. Some of the methods discussed are: guided imagery, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, hypnosis, acupressure, essential oil diffusion, audio distraction, and visual stimuli. After reviewing the literature the researcher found that dental anxiety affects patient compliance, their overall health, and willingness to attend regular dental visits. The purpose of this research was to find out how many dental hygienists are aware of alternative relaxation techniques and how many apply them during patient treatment. The research was conducted through a survey. The results revealed that there is a significant number of dental hygienists that are unfamiliar with alternative pain control methods; however, the majority is interested in learning about these techniques. Perceiving these trends enables dental professionals to provide a higher standard of patient care.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Joseph Evans


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Dental Hygiene | Pain Management