A Little Hoof and Mouth Relief
All that drilling is easier to take when you’re getting a complimentary foot rub, which is offered to all his patients.
‘It’s a really good massage,’ says Stephen Sumnar, a 61-year-old college lecturer who travels two hours by train to see Tanners.
A specialist in reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry, Tanners began offering reflexology two years ago at his wife’s suggestion. ‘Reflexology takes the focus off the mouth and onto another part of the body so patients don’t notice any discomfort,’ he says.
At the Madison Avenue practice, around 80 percent of the 2,000-plus clients get the foot massage whenever they book either a $150 examination, $125 cleaning treatment, $250 x-ray appointment or surgery.
In the corner of each treatment room a red aromatherapy candle burns alongside a fresh bouquet of pink roses. ‘It makes for a more pleasant, non-dental experience,’ the super-tanned surgeon explains. “We avoid smelling like a typical dentist’s and create a feeling of home away from home.”
Gayle Lerner, a judge from Brooklyn Heights, is making her second visit to Tanners in as many days – after putting it off for five years. ‘Since I was a child, I have been frightened to death of dentists,’ she explains. ‘If I come for a small thing, I’m afraid they will find something bigger.’
Within 10 minutes, Lerner is in the dentist’s chair having her stocking-covered feet massaged by Izamar Nazareno.
Patients who have extensive work done are offered champagne or flowers and free rides home. Twice a week, Tanners also offers Botox and collagen injections. ‘Patients have gone from being dental cripples to dental missionaries,’ he says.