Dental therapy dog

Radical new ideas are frequently the ones that end up setting trends. If you are always thinking in terms of what is allowed and what is common practice, you can improve upon the practice itself, but you will not revolutionize and reinvent it. A small dental practice in Seattle has realized this, and have come up with a brand new, super effective way to combat dentophobia; by bringing a puppy.

The story

A man who has recently got his diploma started a dental practice, and decided that his main partner, his beloved labradoodle could come as well. Since then the dental practice has become a favorite of many patients from the surrounding area have been flocking to him precisely because of his dog. What once was just a quirk has now become the main selling point of the dental clinic. The dental therapy dog has become such a success that now this clinic is being expressly marketed towards patients with dentophobia, as one woman who had not been to a  dentist in 15 years because of her dentophobia was able to sit through the appointment without incident just by holding the little pups paw. The entire ordeal moved the woman to tears, and she has been giving interviews left and right marketing the clinic in the American press.


The dog

Needless to say that ti takes a very well behaved and very well trained dog to be able to fulfill this kind of task, and not all dogs are suitable to become dental therapy mutts. This particular breed is one of the most docile and family friendly types, with very little need for movement and a very calm personality. This dog in particular was seen by a trainer, who initially gave the idea of the dog being used for therapeutical purposes, as the disposition of the dog made him especially good for therapy.

Animal therapy

Although a not very well known subset of psychology, animals, particularly furry mammals are super adept at helping people deal with their problems. Hamsters, gerbils, dogs and to some, much lesser degree cats are being used to help trauma victims cope with their problems, and are helping PTSD victims to work through their trauma as well. The calming and relaxing effect of stroking the fur and of nuzzling the animal let’s loose a barrage of serotonin and a whole host of other hormones as well, and this is what is used for animal therapy. The labradoodle in question also does the same thing, ti clams patients and takes their mind off of what is happening. Needless to say, a ton of training is needed to make animals behave, and whether or not enough dogs or other smaller furry creatures can be taught to behave well enough in a dental setting lies still to be explored, but there is at least one place in the world where this is possible.    

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