Dental Dogs

Does going to the dentist stress you out? Now, there are clinics that have furry friends there to help make the visit more pleasant. Introducing dental dogs!

I know that I am not the only person out there who absolutely dreads going to the dentist. I do not like the noises, and I don’t like the sensations. Overall, it’s a pretty stressful situation for me. Recently, I saw an article about how some dental offices are starting to allow service animals inside the building to help with their patients’ stress levels.

Dr. Brian Kraby, a dentist, began letting a four year-old Cocker Spaniel, Molly, come into the office to help his patients. Dr. Kraby told the Animal Health Foundation, “I’m trying to reach out to that segment of the population that won’t see a dentist, wouldn’t consider doing just routine stuff to keep the preventive aspect of things under control.” Molly has worked at a women’s shelter and with children of alcoholics. She is a thoroughly trained service dog, which is why she is behaved enough to be in the office all day.

It’s an interesting idea, but is there any proof that pooches like Molly really help? Dr. Edward Creagan, a physician at the Mayo Clinic, told the Star Tribune (Minnesota) that “when you stroke a dog…there is a surge of hormones deep within the center of the brain. These hormones provide a tremendous feeling of peace…they decrease our blood pressure, they decrease our pulse, they lessen our depression.”

If having a pooch can help people through traumatic situations in life, why not let them help at a dental office, too! As for me, I like the idea, too? How about you?

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