Written for Dental1 by Michelle Alford
Studies show that good dental hygiene is essential for overall health, but millions avoid dental appointments due to fear or dislike of the dentist. This fear often starts at a young age, fueled by unfamiliar settings filled with pointy tools of unknown purposes. One recent trend aims to decrease or eliminate this fear by remodeling dentist offices with fun and relaxing themes.
These "themed" dental offices are most often used in pediatrics. Two popular themed offices are Li’l Teeth Dentistry and All Kids Dental. Li’l Teeth Dentistry has a dinosaur theme that permeates throughout the office. Kids follow t-rex footprints from the lobby to the back rooms and x-rays are taken in a giant dinosaur egg. Realistic murals and fossils complete the theme. Similarly, All Kids Dental is decorated as a jungle. The lobby is filled with trees and a temple for the Tooth God, who holds a toothbrush and guards a golden tooth. Murals throughout the office create the appearance of cracks and holes in the wall, allowing jungle images to seep through.
Themed dental offices can also help adults recover from a lifetime of dental anxiety. Clear Creek Dental in Fort Collins, Colorado, has an outdoor theme designed to provide more a relaxing setting for adults. The lobby is decorated like the interior of a log cabin, complete with a stone fireplace and antlers hanging on the wall. Each procedure room has its own theme, including a camping room with camping gear and topographical maps, a fishing room decorating with fish and fishing poles, and a wildflower room with stained-glassed murals and hanging flowers.
Another themed dental office is enjoyed by sci-fi fans in Orlando, Florida.Starbase Dental is filled with memorabilia from popular sci-fi movies, cardboard cutouts and figurines of famous sci-fi characters, and futuristically designed medical equipment. Patients can watch Star Trek or Star Wars while having procedures performed.
These offices provide positive distractions from dental anxiety and make the dental office feel like a fun destination instead of a place to be feared.
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Photo: Make Less Noise