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How Dogs Help Dental Patients Cope with Dental Anxiety

Posted on September 29, 2011 | in Dental Anxiety | by

Dental appointments are often put off, rescheduled, or dismissed altogether – much to the detriment of not only our optimal oral health, but also to our dentists’ self-confidence.

Picture how it would affect you to realize that people only come to see you when they need something.

We don’t think that’s fair, or even nice.

Never mind the disservice you’re doing to yourself by neglecting proper dental care, you’re only hurting yourself there.

But please don’t contribute to the anti-dentite sentiments still systemic throughout society!

Change starts at home…and in the doghouse. how_dogs_help_dental_patients_cope_with_dental_anxiety Whether it’s fear of pain that keeps you away from the dental office, finances, social anxiety disorder, or simply just a rampant dislike for your teeth and gums, one fact remains undeniable; skipping dental appointments will only cost you more pain and financial discomfort in the future – when something unavoidable arises in your mouth.

Would the company of a trusted pet calm your nerves in the dental office?

Sure, aromatherapy combined with relaxation therapy certainly helps calm the nerves, and sedation dentistry can allow anxious patients the luxury of undergoing years of neglected dental work in a single twilight induced appointment.

And I.V. sedation helps those extreme cases of dental anxiety, or assists with special needs cases a great deal.

But there has to be other options out there…but where?

One interesting way a Palo Alto dentist offers relief for anxious dental patients is gaining lots of attention lately.

how_dogs_help_dental_patients_cope_with_dental_anxietyAs it turns out, more dental practices around the country are following suit. They’re actually employing the family canine as a type of relaxation therapy for anxious patients during their office visit.

Yes, there is actually a dog in the dental office, even right there in the chair with patients!

Buster is there to comfort people who may experience anxiety before and during their dental appointments.

We love it!

Check out ‘Bay Area Buster’ and go ahead and give his Facebook page a ‘Like’ while you’re at it

Basically, some people feel as if the dentist appointment will surely involve pain, or at least discomfort.

It’s OK to feel that way, we understand.

But, things have changed a great deal, and patient comfort and experience in particular have really changed since the times of the kick drill and the spit sink.

Our comfort is among one of our dentists’ primary concerns. We think doggie dental concierge is a great idea to help reduce patient anxiety – share yours!

How can your dental office visit be more enjoyable, less stressful, or more convenient?

Would having the loving, calming presence of the family canine calm your anxious dental nerves?

The first person to share their thoughts on our Facebook page gets a free lolly…or pig’s ear! J

(BTW – Pain is virtually a thing of the past, if you don’t believe us, just ask your dentist!)

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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Comments

  1. […] HDTVs, noise canceling headphones, warm fuzzy blankets, aromatherapy, teas & cappuccino’s…even canines…our dentist’s offices are becoming more like dental spas and less like medieval tooth […]

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