Traditional Dental Offices Are Giving Way To Dental Spas
Today’s modern dentists have been working for years on ways to make going to the dentist a more pleasant experience. After all, everyone has to do it, and the dentist’s office doesn’t have to seem like going to an institution. Dentists across America and around the world are now creating dental spas where patients become clients and get specialized services that make them look and feel better.
At a modern dental spa, you can expect pampering, aromatherapy to help you relax before treatment and teeth whitening services. Isn’t it time for you to rethink your opinion of dentists and get to know a dentist who embraces the dental spa concept?
It’s About Giving Patients A Better Experience
You’ll never know exactly what kind of spa-like services a dentist is offering unless you ask. Since there’s no specific definition of dental spa, the array of services and amenities at each office varies greatly. Dentists, after all, are independent businesspeople who can choose to handle their offices in whatever ways they feel are best.
At a dental spa, expect aromatherapy and teeth whitening, for example. Some also provide headphones to cover up dental sounds and offer televisions where you can watch a movie during treatment to help distract you and speed the passage of time.
You might even be able to access your email and get on the Internet while waiting for your dental appointment or transitioning between services.
The ADA Recommends Relaxing Treatments
You may find it surprising that the American Dental Association actually recommends stress-reducing techniques be used for patients who have stress issues or heart concerns. And spas also help dentists reach another important goal of any dental practice: bringing in people who might be reluctant to have treatment. A better experience means people with no interest in getting necessary dental treatments might be less reluctant than they would be otherwise.
The connection between spa-like services and cosmetic dentistry is a natural one. Many spas offer teeth whitening and other simple services that help make people look better, and it make sense that dental spas would offer cosmetic and facial services as well. The idea is often to look and feel better no matter what kind of spa a client visits.
The Role of Acupuncture In a Dental Spa
Acupuncture is an ancient method of healing a variety of ailments and conditions that started in China prior to the beginning of recorded history. Needles made of stone, bone and other sharp instruments have been found that date back millennia. It is rumored that acupuncture was first discovered by accident when people were injured in various parts of their body and this injury had a positive impact on an illness or condition they had previously.
The earliest record of acupuncture or anything like it dates to 200 BCE. Then, the practice spread across Asia, including Japan, Korea and other countries. There are many different techniques, of course, but the basic idea of acupuncture remains the same around the world and throughout time. Eastern medicine teaches that there are paths of flowing energy in the body that move in meridians -- or rivers. Different pathways are associated with different organs and other parts of the body.
Just like a river, there are places where these meridians are shallower and places where they’re deeper. When these meridians of so-called “chi” energy flow near the surface, those are acupuncture points. By stimulating these specific points, a person with the right training can regulate the flow of chi. It’s possible to create balance by ensuring the flow of energy is healthy and regular rather than stagnant.
Many different studies throughout modern history have shown just how effective acupuncture can be. Here in the Western world, however, we’re still relatively new to understanding acupuncture and all it can do for us. Amazingly, it was the early 1970s before an acupuncture clinic was established in the United States.
Today, acupuncture has been shown to be effective for a number of different applications and remains a pillar of Eastern medicine.
Where dentistry is concerned, acupuncture is most effectively used for pain management and for increasing the pain threshold of patients so they can tolerate pain a bit better.
Pain management is particularly important for dealing with TMD or temporomandibular disease and related joint pain as well as post-operative pain. When a simple procedure can manage pain after the appointment, that’s a major accomplishment.
Acupuncture also plays an important role in reducing anxiety. Research indicates that about 5 percent of Americans have severe dental anxiety. These are people who so fear the dentist that they wouldn’t even consider walking into a dental office.
Even more incredibly, as many as 20 to 30 percent of people have moderate dental anxiety. That means a lot of people’s lives are negatively impacted by this condition. Truthfully, the percentages are probably even higher than that. There are many reasons why there’s so much anxiety related to the dentist’s office, but the important thing is that acupuncture can help dramatically decrease the symptoms.
In fact, anything that can help some of the patients with dental anxiety have a better experience can be exceptionally helpful. In the dental office, post-operative pain management can be hard because we’re not a hospital and don’t keep patients in with us. But we can work to relieve anxiety effectively.
There are, in fact, a couple of double-blind studies that show a major reduction in anxiety before treatment when acupuncture is used on the patient. That establishes an important relationship between acupuncture and dentistry.
In the United States, you must be professionally trained to practice acupuncture, so many holistic dental practices bring in acupuncturists to work in the dental office or prescribe follow-up treatments with acupuncturists.
Once considered a relic of the past or something that happens in other countries, more and more people are discovering that acupuncture can be an important, useful and helpful part of their American lives.
The Costs Of Dental Spa Services
At most of today’s dental practices, many spa-like amenities are included at no additional cost. Keep in mind that since dental spas often concentrate on cosmetic dentistry and related services, the work may not be covered by insurance. Your dentist’s office can help you determine what’s covered by dental insurance and what isn’t. General dental services will be covered by your dental insurance, no matter what kind of practice performs them.
Move Up To The Dental Spa Revolution
In today’s world, it makes sense to choose a dental clinic that offers at least some spa-like services. Spas are part of everyday life for some people now. Even hospitals offers an array of spa-like services in some circumstances. And since dental spas have now been around for decades, any dentist who is attentive to the needs of his or her patients and the current trends in the industry will participate in this better way of doing things.
Are you still visiting a dental office that doesn’t offer a dental spa experience? If you are, it’s time to upgrade.
The line between a medical facility and a spa is blurring, and dentists who offered spa services at first as way of getting a competitive advantage are now offering them as a regular part of doing business. Dental spas are quickly becoming how the dental industry works.
The key for you or any dental patient is to choose a dental office that provides the services you need along with the best possible array of additional services and amenities from which you can benefit. If you do that, you’re sure to satisfied by the experience.
A dental office with a great dentist and a great staff can be your dental spa whether that term is on the outside of the office or not. If you’re used to a dental office that’s uncaring, cold and impersonal, you’re several years out of date. Fortunately for you, Brighton Dental can offer you a warm, dental spa experience, including television with headphones at each station, aromatherapy, anxiety counseling, as well as teeth whitening and other cosmetic services.
To take advantage of our dental spa services, call (619) 640-5100.