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07 / 05 / 2024

Enhancing your Dental experience: Introducing Paddington, the therapy dog

In the fast-paced and sometimes anxiety-inducing world of dental care, our team continuously seeks innovative ways in which to create a more comforting and positive environment for our patients. We are very excited to announce the newest addition to our dental family, Paddington the Bernedoodle. Our new four-legged furry friend is not just an amazing companion but will also play a vital role in reducing stress and anxiety for our patients, ultimately enhancing your overall dental experience.

Paddington therapy dog entrance

Four-legged welcome

Picture this: You walk through the doors of Lighthouse Dental Practice for your appointment, greeted not only by our friendly team but also by a wagging tail and soulful eyes. Instantly, any apprehension or tension that you feel melts away. This is the power of Paddington. You are about to have an entirely new experience that will ensure visits to the dentist are now something to look forward to rather than fear. We want you to walk out of our doors eagerly anticipating your next dental visit, not only for the high standard of care that you receive but also for the next opportunity to interact with your new friend.

Therapy dogs serve as more than just stress relievers – Paddy helps to cultivate a welcoming and comforting atmosphere both for our patients and team members alike. Paddington’s mere presence will help to create a special distraction from the clinical setting, easing your mind and allowing you to focus on the positive experience of interacting with your new furry friend. This distraction can be especially beneficial for very anxious patients, and those undergoing lengthy dental procedures. Therapy dogs have been shown to have a calming effect on people, as interacting with them can release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and reduce levels of stress hormones like cortisol. In our setting, where many of our patients experience dental anxiety, having a therapy dog to help alleviate these feelings is a positive way to create a more tranquil environment for you. Reducing stress can lead to lower levels of perceived pain and increased comfort, making the overall experience more positive and satisfying.

Gentle giant

Paddington was born in Wales on 9th December 2022. His mother is a Bernese Mountain dog, and his father is a standard Poodle that was imported from Salt Lake City, ensuring the best genes for the most beautiful and healthy litter. Our Dental Treatment Coordinator, Jane, chose Paddy when he was just four weeks old after falling in love with his big bear-like paws and unique markings. Paddington is one of seven puppies and is by far the biggest of the bunch. Already weighing 46 kilos, Paddy will continue to grow until he reaches two years old. His siblings weigh between 27 and 32 kilos. Paddington’s stature is as big as his heart, and you will always feel loved and comforted by his presence. Outside of his time as a therapy dog, Paddy loves to play, and steal Jane’s socks, tea towels, tissues, and almost anything else he can grab when it is downtime! He was able to go home at 11 weeks old, and has since filled the hearts of our entire team. As well as Paddington, you may hear our team refer to him as Paddy, Padders, Padster, Paddypaws, Paddington bear, and Lord Paddington to mention a few nicknames that he has adopted! Paddy has not only created a positive impact on our patients, but also on our entire dental team. Having Paddington around has created a harmonious work environment, and he is there to support everybody.

Paddington therapy dog running

Patients’ choice

Beyond the immediate physiological and psychological benefits, therapy dogs contribute to building stronger connections between you and our dental team. For when you are feeling nervous, Paddy will always serve as a conversation starter! We want our patients to feel less anxious so that appointments run smoothly and offer exceptional outcomes. Reduced anxiety can also mean less discomfort during your treatment, as stress and tension can be known to exacerbate perceptions of pain. Paddington will provide a sense of comfort and companionship to those that may be feeling apprehensive about their dental care. Our focus is always on patient-centred care, and we know that Paddy will play a vital role in the overall quality of care provided to you. Whether you would just like company whilst in the waiting room, or for him to join you chairside for your appointment, we can accommodate your wishes.

Our patients’ comfort and care are our top priorities, and we are committed to adapting our facilities and services to better look after our patients during their time with us. With this in mind, we recognise that while our therapy dog, Paddy, brings joy to many, he may not be the right fit for everyone due to differing preferences and comfort levels. Our goal is to make all patients feel comfortable and supported during their visits. To accommodate everyone’s needs, Paddy will only be present in the reception area upon specific request. Furthermore, before Paddy enters, we will confirm that all patients currently in the area are comfortable with his presence. This approach ensures that we maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment, respecting the feelings and preferences of all our patients.

Paddington therapy dog close up

In conclusion, the incorporation of Paddington at Lighthouse Dental Practice offers a multitude of benefits for both patients and staff alike. By creating a more relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, reducing anxiety, and fostering stronger connections, our furry companion plays an invaluable role in enhancing your dental experience. As our ultimate goal for patient-centred care continues, our therapy dog is proving to be a valuable addition to our modern dental practice.

Paddy looks forward to welcoming you to the practice soon.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not only really thorough but also very caring and explains what she is doing throughout the ...“

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond to assist me so that I wasn't left out of pocket. I wish everyone had a person lik...“

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth and my wife threatening to leave me if I did not get it replaced soon made me find a ...“

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was unable to get an appointment with my regular practice. I have to say the service was am...“

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly put at ease by the reception staff and the dental team. They regularly stopped to check...“

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I must admit Dr Tocca was very professional and explained everything as he was going t...“

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stars 1

“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

Jenny

stars 1

“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

Dee D

stars 1

“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

stars 1

“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

Nick K

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stars 1

“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

Jenny

stars 1

“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

stars 1

“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

stars 1

“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

stars 1

“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

Susannah B

stars 1

“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I...“

Nick K

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