Dental office in Rio Rancho uses therapy dog to keep patients calm

New Mexico

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A Rio Rancho dentist office is offering a different kind of all-natural way to calm anxious patients.

“I thought it was new and I wanted to try it out. I like it this is my second time with her. She relaxes me and gives me something to focus on and the weight in my lap is really helpful,” said Amanda Jenson, a patient at New Heights Dental in Rio Rancho.

Sparkle is a 4-year-old, 4-pound Maltese whois part of the non-profit Alliance for Therapy Dogs. She visits Metro hospitals and goes to New Heights anytime a patient requests her.

“There is a lot of dental anxiety I mean that’s just very, very common. You hear that from almost every patient, that they don’t like being here,” said Dr. Brian Sweeny with New Heights Dental.

Dr. Mike Sweeny says he enlisted Sparkle’s help as an alternate way to help calm nervous patients.

“There are medications you can prescribe, Nitris things like that, but you’re always thinking, what more can be done to calm patients down?,” said Sweeny.

For Jenson, having the option to hold and pet Sparkle during her fillings is a good feeling.

“She helps me to feel calmer and I am able to relax a little bit more and not panic so that’s nice,” said Jenson.

There are two other therapy dogs who visit New Heights Dental, at the patient’s request.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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