Meet Our Facility Dog KENNEDY!

Meet Our Facility Dog KENNEDY!

Facility Dog to help with children anxiety in dental office

Meet our facility dog KENNEDY, who’s here to help children who fear visiting the dentist.

Our pediatric dental office recently welcomed a new addition! We’re excited to introduce you to KENNEDY, our facility dog who is a new part of our Wilmington dental family.

Together with the non-profit organization paws4people foundation, our pediatric dental practice  is bringing Animal Assisted Intervention to our dental patients. Animal Assisted Intervention is proven to lower heart rate, reduce blood pressure and mitigate the symptoms of anxiety in general. Research has shown that 30 to 40 million Americans avoid the dentist entirely because of dental anxiety.

We are looking to ease anxiety in children who may fear visiting the dentist by having KENNEDY implement deep pressure therapy during their visit. By having the dog lay with our patients in need, they can cuddle and pet her, which helps take their mind off things they may find scary with their dental visit. This technique can alleviate the need to use medicine as a treatment in some patients. KENNEDY will also help distribute goody bags and will help walk patients back to their chairs for cleanings.

Precautions have been put in place for those patients who have allergies, or are afraid of dogs. An allergy free room is available, and KENNEDY can be kenneled as needed. “We certainly don’t want to discourage any of our existing patients who may not be comfortable with a visit from KENNEDY,” Kayla Black, dental assistant and the facility dog’s handler explains.

KENNEDY will start seeing qualifying patients in the dental practice’s Wilmington location. As she settles in and gets familiar with her routine, the doctors will look to take KENNEDY to their Leland office for patient visits in the future.

If you’d like the more information about how KENNEDY can help your child, please call our office at 910-794-2266. You may also visit www.paws4people.org/give/kayla-black to learn more.