Service dog comforts patients at the dentist

Posted at 11:11 AM, Feb 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-10 13:11:00-05

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    Mount Juliet, TN (WSMV) — Going to the dentist isn’t always easy.

One local office is using man’s best friend to make it a little less stressful.

If the bright lights and the sharp tools didn’t get you, the drills will.

There’s a reason people consider dentists as one of the most-hated professions.

That anxiety is even higher for people with special needs. That’s why Generations Dental Arts just added a service dog to their team.

No one likes to go to the dentist, but the dentist’s chair seems a little less daunting when a dog is by your side.

“This is Mac. He comes to us from Retrieving Independence, which is a non-profit in Brentwood,” said Rebekah Glasmeier, office manager for Generations Dental Arts. “He pretty much comforts our patients. He goes back with them at treatment.”

Mac’s work starts in the waiting room, comforting patients as they wait for the dentist’s chair.

When their name is called, he’s with them every step.

The idea was born out of the Glasmeier’s own struggle with their 2-year-old son, who has autism. He resonded well to dogs.

“I saw what they did for my children and I said ‘What would happen if I brought a dog into a dental office?’” Glasmeier said. “Nobody knew the answer because it had never been done before.”

Research has shown petting a dog, or even simply being in their presence or looking at them, results in a drop in the blood pressure.

The Generations Dental Arts has seen a change.

“We thought it would just be the children and our special need patients, but actually all of our patients adore Mac,” said Glasmeier.

There’s no doubt the hardest-working staff member works his tail off.

This is acutally Mac’s second job in retirement.

He graduated as a service dog when he was 18 months old.

He serviced for a short time and was retired. Now he’s doing his second act as a facility dog.

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