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Effectiveness of binaural beats in reducing preoperative dental anxiety

      Abstract

      Binaural beats are an auditory illusion perceived when two different pure-tone sine waves are presented one to each ear at a steady intensity and frequency. We evaluated their effectiveness in reducing preoperative anxiety in dentistry. Sixty patients (30 in each group) who were to have impacted third molars removed were studied (experimental group: 20 women and 10 men, mean (range) age 24 (18-35) years, and control group: 22 women and 8 men, mean (range) age 28 (15-47) years). All patients were fully informed about the operation preoperatively, and their anxiety recorded on a visual analogue scale (VAS). The local anaesthetic was given and the patients waited for 10 minutes, during which those in the experimental group were asked to listen to binaural beats through stereo earphones (200 Hz for the left ear and 209.3 Hz for the right ear). No special treatment was given to the control group. In both groups anxiety was then recorded again, and the tooth removed in the usual way. The paired t test and t test were used to assess the significance of differences between groups. The degree of anxiety in the control group was unchanged after the second measurement (p = 0.625), while that in the experimental group showed a significant reduction in anxiety (p = 0.001). We conclude that binaural beats may be useful in reducing preoperative anxiety in dentistry.

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