Research opportunities

Project 030 – Effectiveness of pre-treatment music as an intervention to manage anxiety in the dental setting


Dental anxiety is common in the general population and has been identified as a barrier to people accessing timely and appropriate professional care. Listening to music during a dental procedure has been associated with a reduction in the experience of dental anxiety, accompanied by physiological changes such as reductions in heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rates, but there is a lack of research investigating the effect of music provide pre-treatment and/or during treatment.


To explore the effectiveness of pre-treatment music in the management of dental anxiety in general practice.

Who can participate?

General dentists who practice in metropolitan Melbourne.

What will you be asked to do?

  • (With the help of your team) ask your patients who meet the inclusion criteria (over 18 years of age who have an appointment for dental fillings) if they would be willing to participate in the study by completing a questionnaire (Modified Dental Anxiety Scale) before treatment starts. Patients with a score of 11 or higher will be invited to participate by completing a further questionnaire on arrival for their appointment and wearing on-ear headphones and a pulse monitor while in the waiting room and surgery. They will be randomly assigned to one of three study groups:
    • Music before and during dental treatment
    • Music during dental treatment only
    • No music (control group)
  • Recruit up to 21 patients to participate in the study (7 patients will be randomly assigned to each study group).
  • Become an eviDent member (membership is free) and complete the minimum training requirements as well as additional training for this project, for which CPD credit will be provided.

Why should you participate?

  • You and your practice may benefit from the outcomes of this study, leading to increased professional satisfaction and wellbeing;
  • Be part of an eviDent project that will ultimately contribute to the practice of dentistry in Australia.

How do you participate?

Please contact Ms Meaghan Quinn by calling 03 8825 4603 or email .

Who are the researchers?

Dr Roisin McGrath, Dr Chris Wenn, Dr Bob Cvetkovic and Dr Jodie Heap.