DR. MARK SWEENEY: I have always tried to make each patient’s dental experience a comfortable and comforting one. I know that’s not what you normally expect from a dentist or a dental visit, but we’ve always had warm blankets if the patients get cold we can wrap them up in. We’ve had shoulder wraps that are fairly simple little things that we started buying on the internet years ago. We can put in the microwave and warm them up, or we can put them in the freezer. We always keep a few in the freezer, especially in the summertime in Texas and if somebody comes in and they look a little overheated or a little frazzled, one of those things laid over your shoulders will just melt the anxiety and stress away in a matter of seconds.
A few years ago we also hit on the idea of hiring a massage therapist. I have four of them in my employ at this point in time and there’s always at least one of them here in the office and they wander through the clinical area offering hand and foot massages. We also have a warm paraffin dip tank that we offer to patients. It’s amazing to me still how much that melts the anxiety away just dipping your hands in a warm paraffin tank a few times and then just letting it set on your hands. It makes your hands feel nice and smooth. It improves the circulation and it virtually melts anxiety away.
We have made the decision many years ago that all these services are complimentary and we feel that its worth it to have these services available to remove the fear and anxiety that usually accompany these dental visits.