Why We Love Vito and You Should Too

Vito 1Dogs in the dental office? What’s that about?

While the sight of on-staff canines is a new one in many dental practices, it is a rapidly growing phenomenon, primarily because it has practical benefits in terms of the dental care that patients receive.

One significant dental care challenge for some patients is anxiety about visiting the dentist’s office. Because of their ability to reduce anxiety and stress and to comfort people, specially trained dogs are used in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes and dental practices. At the central Phoenix offices of Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist, this assistance comes in the form of Vito, Dr. Ford’s 4-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.

There are many reasons to appreciate dogs like Vito who work in dental care settings. Recently, Dr. Ford’s staff came up with a list of just a few of the reasons they love having their furry co-worker around!

Reasons We Love Vito

  • Vito can help many different patients, for a variety of reasons. Vito’s presence is helpful to many patients beyond those who deal with dental anxiety. Pets working in healthcare settings can deliver health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and balancing levels of neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and endorphin to promote an optimal stress response. All these things can help a patient’s overall well-being.
  • Vito can help patients before, during or after a dental care procedure. Vito will visit a patient before, between, or after procedures, so he can provide happy feelings and thoughts for them to focus on before the dental work happens, or he can help them relax afterward.
  • Vito is a gentleman. Patients aren’t required to interact with Vito if they prefer not to. He makes his patient visits at the office by request only.

“Some of the biggest breakthroughs in dental care are not related to technology or technique,” says Dr. Ford. “Vito improves the health of our patients – not to mention our staff! – and we are overjoyed to have him as a trusted part of our team.”

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