There has been a growing use of therapy dogs, for the purpose of making a person relax, feel happy, or interact. The latest use for therapy dogs appears to be to help patients with a dental phobia.
Whether this fairly new practice will become the norm at dental clinics is debatable, but it does seem to be having some success.
One rescue dog has been trained as a therapy dog, at a dental practice in Sunnyvale, to help some of the growing number of Americans who are afraid of the dentist.
By some estimates close to 10 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist at all costs. The reason? Fear.
A dental fear can be anything from being nervous about pain because you suffer from sensitive teeth, to having a morbid fear which leads to severe physical symptoms.
There are many alternative solutions for people who are scared of the dentist, and it can take a long time for a person to tackle a serious dentist phobia.
However, for problems which involve minor to moderate anxiety, stroking an animal may be the answer. That’s assuming the patient is also a dog lover.