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Oral Care and Health Daily

Massage, Hand Wax, Root Canal? Welcome to the Dental Spa!

More dentists are offering spa services to soothe patients'' nerves.

I helped create the dental spa concept in 1996, when I added a licensed massage therapist to help my patients relax before and during treatments. I even coined the term “dental spa” in 1998 when I created my website: Since DDS.com was already taken, I chose “Dallas Dental Spa” because that’s what we had become.

At the time, most of my colleagues thought I was crazy. Today, almost 20 percent of practices call themselves dental spas.

The reason behind the idea is to make patients more comfortable so their dental experience is more enjoyable and effective. Here are typical accessories you might find:

  • Dental chairs equipped with massage pads, neck and shoulder warmers
  • Scented towels for aromatherapy
  • Headphones
  • Refreshments such as soda or tea
  • Paraffin wax hand treatments

Most dentists don’t charge extra for these amenities, although the services are more likely to be found at higher-end practices.

Many people will see their dentist regularly no matter what, and that’s the way it should be. But for those who dislike or fear going to the dentist, these little perks can make a big difference.

However, that’s not to say that you should choose your dentist just because he offers you some tea or a hand wax. Be sure that she listens to your concerns and genuinely and professionally cares for your oral health.