A fear of the dentist is something many people experience. Some people even avoid going to the dentist before their routine cleaning or checkups because they’re scared of the person behind the mask.
However, 74% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, so if someone isn’t going to the dentist because of their fear, they might miss their diagnosis or make the situation a lot worse. To ease this fear, a dentist office in Texas came up with an adorable solution.
According to KENS 5, a new member of the staff at La Cantera Dental can do wonders to help a person feel more relaxed during their visit. This new staff member is named Macie, and she’s a therapy dog. Macie has been working the patient rooms for about four months. It’s her job to make people actually look forward to their appointments. Loreatha Carithers, a new patient at La Cantera Dental, spoke with KENS 5 about her experience with Macie.
“I was very relaxed, I even went to sleep,” Carithers said. “Macie as a therapy dog, the greatest benefit [is she] calms, eases the anxiety down. It causes patients or clients to feel more relaxed.”
According to CBS Philly, Macie has become such a valued and popular member of the staff at La Cantera Dental that patients are starting to request specific time with her when they’re scheduling their appointments. Before Macie was able to come into the office, she had to pass the “good citizen training” at her local Petco. Once she passed that and was guaranteed to be able to help people in times of high-anxiety, she was brought into the office and was shown around.
A recent study out of the University of British Columbia found that therapy dogs can be also used in a school setting to help students feel less-stressed and boost their wellness. The one-on-one time with the dogs has been proven to have a positive effect on students, especially during the times of the year when their stress is at an all-time high.
The study took a look at students spending time with the therapy dogs over a short amount of time. The positive effects of the therapy dogs were found to be short-lived, so researchers believe universities across the world should offer the use of them during finals week, midterms, and other stressful situations. Past research has found that female students benefited more from the dogs than male students; however, the new study proves that both genders actually benefit from the dogs.
The average American will consume ice cream 28.5 times this year alone, so going to the dentist is extremely necessary to prevent any potential issues due to diet. With the use of these therapy dogs in dentist’s offices, people are able to handle their fears with a calmer, more open mind.