Why We Love Vito And You Should Too

Dental_CareOne of the challenges that all dentists face is how to make their patients as comfortable as possible while receiving dental care. Anxiety is a very common experience when contemplating a visit to the dentist’s office, with up to 15 percent of Americans reporting that they actively avoid going to the dentist for that very reason.

At Dr. Carol Ford’s central Phoenix-based cosmetic dentistry practice, patients can lower their anxiety by interacting with Vito, Dr. Ford’s 3-year-old Golden Retriever. Vito has been trained as a Power Paws Assistance Dog, and is happy to be petted or played with whenever a patient requests him.

Dr. Ford’s staff compiled a list of why they think Vito is so loveable, and we think you’ll agree – he is a special addition to the practice’s dental care team!

Why We Love Vito!

  1. Playing with Vito makes our patients feel good. When patients interact with Vito, their blood pressure is lowered and their bodies make fewer stress hormones. When he makes them smile, they are distracted from any troubling dental anxieties they may have.
  2. Dental_CareVito can help patients with a wide range of conditions. Assistance dogs can help persons suffering from a wide variety of medical and psychological conditions that can cause distress and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, cancer, and chronic heart failure.
  3. Patients are pleasantly surprised to see Vito. Pet therapy is new to dental care settings, so our patients are often overjoyed to see our furry co-worker. And Vito is a gentleman – he is available by request only, so there is no pressure to receive a visit from him.

“We want all our patients to feel relaxed and comfortable at our office from the moment they step in the door,” says Dr. Ford. “Vito has been an amazing partner in helping us deliver quality dental care.”


  1. What an awesome idea! I was just at the dentist today and I have such anxiety because I have sensitive teeth, I don’t like the smell of the dental office, I don’t like the sound or the feel of the drills, it’s like running your fingernails down a chalkboard so yes I’m extremely uncomfortable at a dentist office. I didn’t have a sweet dog to call me down but my dental hygienist was awesome.

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