Using Dog Therapy to Quell Anxiety
With animal-assisted interventions proving to reduce distress for anxious patients, dental professionals must follow the proper guidelines to successfully introduce them into a dental practice.
Dog-assisted therapy (DAT) is an effective practice primarily in aging populations, pediatric care, and pain reduction.
If a patient perceives a threat in the dental operatory, which causes an emotional and/or physical response, it is unlikely he or she has dental anxiety.
In the United States, researchers estimate up to what percentage of people experience some form of dental anxiety?
Reductions in pain related to decreased catecholamines and increased endorphins in patients with animal-assisted interventions have been demonstrated in health-care settings.
Dental professionals thinking about implementing animal-assisted interventions need not consider patients’ fear of dogs.
Animal-assisted interventions should be restricted to suitable animal species, such as dogs.
Keeping the office disinfected and equipment sterile can also be a concern for a dental practice.
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