Dental Dogs: Better Than Laughing Gas

Dori Edwards, Global Animal 

Dental offices across the United States are starting to take advantage of the healing and therapeutic qualities of ‘man’s best friend.’ In La Jolla, California, Dentist Tracy Taddey offers her patients the companionship of her beloved rescue dog, Mona Lisa, in order to alleviate their anxiety. 

“She makes people feel more relaxed,” Taddey expressed. “She just curls up into a little doughnut on a patient’s lap and falls asleep. You’d think the sound of the drill would scare her, but it doesn’t.”

Dentist Tracey Taddey’s rescue dog offers anxiety relief to nervous patients. Photo credit: PRWeb

After Taddey first adopted Mona from the Helen Woodward Animal Center, she did not want to leave her home alone and, since her new furry friend had such a mellow demeanor, she decided to bring her along to work. Taddey did not expect that her companion would be the beginning of a progressive trend in the dental industry. 

Both New York University Graduates, Dr. Taddey and her father, John, are professionals in a family-owned practice near San Diego.

Dr. John Taddey said, “Things are constantly changing in the dental field. The addition of Mona is just one of these exciting changes.”

Patients at the father-daughter team’s facilities receive a routine consultation and then can request to have Mona join them in the treatment room. 

Other practices in Tempe, Arizona and North Carolina are implementing the use of therapy dogs in their facilities as well. Sunshine and Star were two golden retrievers raised at Children’s Dental Village where they were trained to “always be available for hugs and pets, always offer unconditional love, and play nice.” 

At Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic, their therapy dog is requested by patients and the Clinic’s Executive Director “when the stress of dental emergencies is affecting the Clinic staff.”

This canine addition to dental teams is another example of the amazing support our animal companions offer us. In times of need they are always there to make us smile.