When was the last time you felt pampereddentists-that-pamper
and relaxed at your dentist’s office?

While it may seem inconceivable to the 50 percent of Americans whose anxiety and fear of pain keeps them from regular checkups, an enjoyable. spalike dental experience is possible, and it is available in the Lansing area.

For Dr. Martin Valle, founder of Valley Day Spa in Okemors who has spent the past 12 years practicing dentistry in the community, the dental spa concept fits well with his mission to serve his patients. His office manage and wife. Dawn, explained why they embraced the model for the new office they built and opened in April 2004. -Marty is also a lay minister, and part of his goal in dentistry is for this to be his ministry because he really can’t do both full time. There are not enough hours in a day. There are a lot of great

dentists in the !awing and Okemot area, so to be a great dentist that is not enough. He wants to be a servant…. The spa idea started from there. He wanted to find a way that he could be more than what people expect. So, for people to have a great experience with dentistry, to him, is a service.”

In October 2003. the Valleys, associate Dr. Sarah Faber, ant the entire staff attended the American Dental Association’s (ADA) annual session in San Francisco where they had an opportunity to study the latest in patient pampering methods and how to incorporate them into their practice.

Management Consultant Shirley Brown, a practicing dentis and clinical psychologist, and speaker at the ADA session. said the consumer media have coined the term “dental spa; but many practices offer services and amenities specifically designed to relax patients without considering themselves a -spa” Since dentists run dental practices as independent businesses. each dentist decides what patient services to offer. The International Medical Spa Associatior (IMSA) defines a dental spa as -a facility whose dental program is run under the strict supervision of a licensed dentist that provides services, integrating both traditional and non-traditional dental and spa treatments (such as massage therapy. skincare and body treatments).”

Valley Dental Spa models its practice along the lines of the VASA definition using proven relaxation methods during the patient’s entire visit. Techniques such as paraffin hand dips, warm neck rolls heated booties, soothing eye masks,