Our Dentist’s Office has a New Comfort Dog

There is a new team member we’d like you to meet. He’s been called “man’s best friend,” but from what we can tell, he wants to be everyone’s best friend!

Meet Captain! Captain is an 6-month-old Labrador Retriever who’s friendly, outgoing, and excellent with our pediatric patients – and patients of all ages, for that matter. Labradors are naturally very intelligent and easily trained, making them receptive to the demands of learning how to be an effective comfort dog.

Captain joined our practice in February and is doing well adjusting to daily life in a dental office, putting his best paw forward as a calming, happy, loveable face for those who need it.

Why do we have a comfort dog?
Comfort dogs, or animal-assisted intervention, are growing in popularity as an effective way for patients to have a calm dental experience without undergoing sedation. While many patients will enjoy seeing Captain during their visits, he will be especially helpful for those who may avoid regular visits because of fear or anxiety.

Generally speaking, animal-assisted intervention is proven to lower the heart rate, reduce blood pressure, reduce pain perception, and help patients become less agitated and more relaxed.

What kind of training do comfort dogs receive?
Becoming a comfort dog is hard work for the dogs and their handlers. Dogs like Captain undergo hours of specialized training for development, socialization, confidence, obedience, public access, and dental facility training.

Once they complete their training, they know how to calm anxious patients and can even pick up on which patients may need extra attention.

What if I don’t like dogs?
Not everyone is an animal person. And that’s okay! Captain is here to offer his services as a calming presence for those who need him. Let our front desk know if you or your child prefer not to visit with Captain during your time in our office. We want you to have an enjoyable dental experience but understand that it may look different for everyone.

How can I meet Captain?
If you would like Captain’s support during your next appointment, please contact your local office to see when he will be around next!

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