Masseuses, aestheticians, even plastic surgeons are helping patients fight their fear of drills, needles, etc. Here’s what some practices around the country offer. (Note: Most of these treatments are performed before or after your dental procedure.)
Climb in the Chair For: Facial Microdermabrasion (performed by an aesthetician)
Where: Dr. Berland’s Dental Spa for Adult Dentistry, Dallas
Cost: First treatment, free; follow-ups, $110 each or $500 for a package of five.
Dentist Says: “The focus of my practice is cosmetic dentistry,” says Lorin Berland, D.D.S. “So microdermabrasion, which improves the skin, is a natural fit.”
We Say: Although microdermabrasion can be done by an aesthetician, we prefer a dermatologist’s expertise. Use your best judgment.
Climb in the Chair For: Paraffin-wax hand treatment.
Where: Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry.
Dentist Says: “Half of Americans don’t even go to the dentist on a regular basis, and those who do treat it like a necessary evil,” says Debra Gray King, D.D.S. “My mission is to make dental visits a more pleasant experience.”
We Say: Softer hands for nothing? Go ahead and wax us.
Climb in the Chair For: Botox injections.
Where: The Rosenthal Group, New York City.
Dentist Says: “We call our office a “rejuvenation center,”" says Larry Rosenthal, D.D.S. “You can have a dermatologist do a consultation while you’re sitting in the chair. We want patients to like their looks — not just their teeth.”
We Say: On the plus side, at least it’s a dermatologist who performs the procedure. On the other hand, if you get Botox before your dental work, your face may not register any pain you might feel.
Climb in the Chair For: A one-hour facial.
Where: Dental Spa, Pacific Palisades, California.
Cost: $75 for dental patients, $85 for nonpatients (yes, some people go solely for a facial).
Dentist Says: “People schedule regular dental cleanings, but they don’t schedule regular skin cleanings,” says Lynn Watanabe, D.D.S. “This helps them do so.”
We Say: If you’ve got the extra time to spare, we’re all for one-stop shopping.
Climb in the Chair For: Foot, shoulder, or neck massage.
Where: The Dental Spa, Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Dentist Says: “Massage relaxes patients,” says Robert G. Hodous, D.D.S. “And if they’re relaxed, they often find their dental procedures more comfortable.”
We Say: Yes to anything that might take our minds off the drill.
Climb in the Chair For: Collagen injections.
Where: Paul Tanners, D.D.S., New York City.
Cost: $400 per injection.
Dentist Says: “Patients were complaining to me about their wrinkles,” Tanners says. “Having an on-site plastic surgeon was an easy way to help do something about them.”
We Say: If you’re the collagen type, this might be cool. As for us, we prefer to spit and split.