Difference in physiological responses to sound stimulation in subjects with and without fear of dental treatments

Takumu Kudo, Riho Mishima, Kensuke Yamamura, Rahman Mostafeezur, Hossain M.D. Zakir, Masayuki Kurose, Yoshiaki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The effects of sound generated by an ultrasonic dental scaler and a dental turbine on heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and hemodynamic changes in the frontal cortex were measured and compared with those of pure tone stimulation in 17 young volunteers. Near-infrared spectroscopy and the Finapres technique were used to measure hemodynamic and cardiovascular responses, respectively. The dental sound changed the various physiological parameters. To determine if this change was related to participants' previous experiences with dental treatment, participants were divided into two groups: those who had a previous unpleasant experience with dental treatment and those who had not. Participants with previous unpleasant dental experiences showed a significant decrease in cerebral blood flow. Participants who had not had an unpleasant dental experience did not show significant changes in cerebral blood flow. Thus, although sounds associated with dental treatment may reduce cerebral blood flow, this effect may depend on the dental experiences of the patient. It is recommended that dentists treat patients gently and with empathy to promote a friendly image of dentistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Anxiety
  • Cardiovascular response
  • Dental noise
  • Human
  • NIRS


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