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Four ways your visit to the dentist is changing

Dentists today work hard to provide positive, comfortable experiences for their patients, with waiting and treatment rooms filled with amenities

Do you remember dreading visits to the dentist growing up? Dull waiting rooms and images of cartoon teeth may spark unsettling memories of trips to the tooth doctor, but those days are long gone. Today, dentists offer positive, comfortable experiences for their patients, with waiting and treatment rooms filled with amenities. As you look for ways to make your appointment more enjoyable, the North Carolina Dental Society shares some new amenities to ask your dentist about during your next visit.  

“Patient comfort during your dental visits is extremely important, especially for those who experience anxiety,” said Dr. Meenal Patel of Cary, NC. “There are new approaches and office enhancements that help reduce tension and encourage patients to relax during their visits. It’s rewarding to see patients satisfied and positive after a visit, walking out the door with a smile.”

Here are four ways dental visits have evolved:

  1. Spa-like amenities: Many dentists offer a combination of state-of-the-art amenities and services to serve as stress relievers during your dental treatment. You might find massage chairs, beverage stations, warm blankets or pillows in your treatment room. Some offices have overhead flat screen TVs equipped with cable or Netflix, or the option to listen to music during your appointment. It might be worth a call to your dentist to ask if any complimentary services are provided during routine checkups.
  2. Aromatherapy: Pleasant smells can trigger warm feelings of comfort and well-being. While you may associate aromatherapy with elegant spas, this service is now found in many dental offices. Aromatherapy and essential oils are known to reduce stress, fear and panic attacks.
  3. Pain remedies: There are a variety of ways available to create more comfortable visits to the dentist. Some options control pain, others help you relax and some put you to sleep during dental treatment. It is important that you and your dentist take time to talk about your options, based on the procedure itself, your overall health history, allergies and anxiety.
  4. Therapy dogs: One of the newest trends in some dental offices is the use of specially trained therapy dogs to soothe nervous toddlers and children. These animals have been trained specifically to provide comfort to children experiencing dental anxiety. With the help of a new four-legged friend, you may find your little one looks forward to his or her next trip to the dentist.

If you are looking for a new dentist for your next checkup, please visit our website and locate one near your home or office. For more suggestions on maintaining a healthy smile, visit


About the North Carolina Dental Society

The North Carolina Dental Society was founded in 1856 and remains one of the oldest dental societies in the country. Representing 3,900 member dentists across the state, our mission is to help all members succeed. The NC Dental Society is a part of the American Dental Association, the nation's largest dental association, representing 161,000 member dentists, and the leading source of oral health information. For more information, visit