This study investigated the biological activity of the essential oil from Cymbopogon nardus and of the phytoconstituent citronellal on Candida strains as to the inhibition of adherence to dental implants and cover screws. The essential oil was analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and had its MIC and MFC determined against 12 strains of Candida. Then, tests of inhibition of adherence to the dental implants and cover screws were carried out using the MIC of the substances, followed by scanning electron microscopy analysis. Nystatin and chlorhexidine were used as positive controls, and experiments were performed in triplicate. The analysis by GC-MS of the essential oil identified citronellal as the major compound. The MICs of the essential oil, citronellal, chlorhexidine, and nystatin--able to inhibit 100 % of the strains--were found to be 64, 512, 64, and 32 μg/ml, respectively. The essential oil significantly inhibited the adherence of Candida albicans to the dental implants and cover screws (p < 0.001). Citronellal inhibited yeast adherence only to the dental implants (p < 0.001), and no significant results were found for the cover screws (p > 0.05) compared to the growth control. The essential oil and citronellal have proven antifungal activity and are able to inhibit the in vitro adherence of C. albicans. There has been a search for alternative natural product-containing formulations that should be effective in inhibiting adherence of yeasts to the surfaces of materials and also able to treat oral fungal infections. Further trials could make these products an alternative to chemical removal of peri-implant biofilm.