Dentist Therapy Dog

Dental Visits Transformed: Meet Ollie, the Dentist Therapy Dog Making Dental Visits a Walk in the Park 🐾

Meet Ollie: The Labradoodle Making Dental Visits a Walk in the Park 🐾

It’s common to feel nervous about visiting the dentist. For some people, this anxiety can be so overwhelming that they need sedatives just to get through a routine cleaning. But what if there was a way to ease this fear without having to resort to medication?

Say Hello to Your Furry Dentist Companion! 🐶

Meet Ollie, a Labradoodle who has become a beloved fixture at J&D Dental in Minneapolis. Patients who book appointments with Ollie find that their anxiety melts away in the presence of this friendly, furry companion. Donna Hedin, who has struggled with dental anxiety her whole life, says that Ollie helps her feel calm and relaxed during her appointments. She’s not alone: many patients report feeling more at ease with Ollie by their side. It’s no wonder that Ollie’s schedule is booked solid for the next six months!

A Therapy Dog’s Journey Amidst Pandemic Times

Ollie’s story began during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when his owner, April Kline, was unable to work. She started training Ollie as a therapy dog and brought him along to the office one day to see how he would do. To her surprise, Ollie was a natural at comforting patients, and soon, he became a regular presence at J&D Dental. Now, he spends his days snuggling with patients (usually while they’re reclined in the dentist’s chair) and soaking up all the love and attention he can get.

Transforming Dental Appointments One Snuggle at a Time!

Dr. Jennifer Herbert, the owner of J&D Dental, says that Ollie has had a remarkable impact on the mood of the office. Patients who are normally anxious or fearful seem to relax in his presence, and many of them don’t need sedatives or other medications to get through their appointments. In fact, some patients have called their time with Ollie “the best day of their life.”

At J&D Dental, everyone is a dog person. Ollie is just one of several furry friends who call the office home, and patients are always notified if they book an appointment on a day when dogs will be present. The staff at J&D Dental are committed to making every patient’s experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible, and they believe that dogs like Ollie can play an important role in achieving that goal.

Ollie’s Impact on Patient Health and Wellbeing

The presence of Ollie at J&D Dental isn’t just about comfort; it’s also about health benefits. Studies have shown that interacting with therapy dogs can reduce blood pressure, decrease levels of stress hormones, and release endorphins for a calming effect. This means patients at J&D Dental are not only happier but potentially healthier during their visits.

Children often find dental visits particularly scary, but with Ollie around, they have something to look forward to. Parents report that their kids are excited to go to the dentist now, knowing they’ll get to spend time with Ollie. Adults appreciate him just as much, finding that his gentle nature helps distract them from the procedures.

The Science Behind the Snuggles

It’s not all just anecdotal evidence; there’s real science behind why Ollie makes such a difference. The act of petting a dog can increase levels of oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and affection. This hormonal boost is part of what makes patients feel more relaxed and connected when Ollie is around.

Join the Pack: How to Prepare for a Visit with Ollie 📅🐕‍🦺

If you’re ready to make your dental care a more enjoyable experience, here’s how to prepare for your visit with Ollie:

  • Book in Advance: Ollie’s calendar fills up quickly, so be sure to schedule your appointment well ahead of time.
  • Set Expectations: If you’re bringing children, let them know about Ollie beforehand. It might help them feel excited rather than anxious.
  • Allergies or Fears?: Let the staff know if you have any allergies to dogs or if you’re uncomfortable around them. They can make accommodations to ensure everyone’s comfort.

A Tail-Wagging Success Story

Patients leave J&D Dental with big smiles on their faces, and it’s not just because of the excellent dental work. Ollie has become a local celebrity, with people stopping by just to say hello. His success has even inspired other clinics to consider therapy animals.

Story inspired “Nervous about going to the dentist? Ollie the Labradoodle can help” by Alex Chhith @ StarTribune.

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