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The (Almost) Perfect Spa Experience January 5, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Music & Dance.

The best thing about moving is the change of scenery ~ trying out new restaurants, trolling around town to check out the sights and sounds, and meeting new people who have a different perspective on life.

What do I like least?

Hands down  . . . lining up new dentists and doctors whose sole role in my life is to prod and probe my cavities and other orifices.

Once I’ve been in a location for a time, visiting the dentist is no biggie.  I schedule regular cleanings and check ups with clockwork precision ~ as I’m paying for one visit, I’m scheduling the next.  But visiting a new dentist for the first time is always a bit nerve-wracking.

After moving to Florida, we started looking around for a dentist and found a promising advertisement for the Island Dental Spa which boasted “Plenty of Patient Pampering” and “Incorporating a beautiful, healthy smile with a rejuvenated body.”

Intrigued that we might be able to rejuvenate our bodies while having our teeth cleaned, we did some on-line research and found that patient comfort really is important to Dr. Yatros and his staff.

Since being comfortable (and pain free) is always my preference, I read on.

To increase patient comfort during procedures, the Island Dental Spa offers  Pillows, Heated Massage Chairs, Comfort Blankets, Cool or Warm Eye Masks, Facial Towels, and Paraffin Hand Wax Treatments.  Excellent!

For further comfort, they offer both Nitrous Oxide or Oral Sedation.  Bliss!

There is nothing like a bit of laughing gas, or a powerful sleeping pill, to make you so unaware of your surroundings that you don’t care that someone is drilling on your teeth, inches away from your brain.

For entertainment, they offer “personal audio-visual immersion with private video glasses” or chairside flat panel screens (so you can see which sharp, pointy tool is entering your mouth).  Patients can listen to music, watch cable, or bring their own movie from home.

In short, the Island Dental Spa offers the Spa experience that everyone looks for in a dentist.  Sign me up, Scotty!

170px-alice_par_john_tenniel_30We made appointments and received new patient forms to complete, along with the  “Comfort Menu” of offerings:

Fresh Baked Cookies, Tea and Coffee, Juice, Soda,  Bottled water, and . . . Wine and Beer!


Nothing like sipping a  relaxing glass of wine while the hygienist is scraping plaque and reminding you to brush and floss twice a day.

Despite the promised pampering, I grew nervous about my first scheduled cleaning at the Spa.

Fear of the unknown caused  gale force winds to wind through my internal organs, wreaking havoc on my nervous system.

I knew I was being silly.

We’ve experienced kind and gentle hygienists wherever we’ve roamed ~ NJ, SC, NC, VA, and MD.  In each location, we found dentists and hygienists that suited us perfectly . . . except for one.

Dorothy, the Nazi hygienist.

While patients writhed and moaned from her rigorous and vigorous scaling of plaque, Dorothy watched TV.

I landed in Dorothy’s chair due to a scheduling glitch.  During a commercial, she scheduled me for a repeat visit.  With her.

No way!

Bleeding and broken, I limped to the reception area, looking over my shoulder to ensure that this dental sadist was not following me.

At the central appointment desk, I whispered, without preamble, “I need to change my next appointment.”

The scheduler pulled up my chart, and whispered back, “Didn’t you just make this appointment?”

“Yes,” I whispered, looking around to make sure Dorothy was not in sight.

Puzzled, she stared at the monitor a moment, then nodded, “Oh . . . you saw Dorothy today.”

“Yes.”  Enough said.

She tapped on the keys,  “Would you like me to schedule you with another hygienist?”

“Yes.  But let me ask you something.  Why is she here?  Do you assign her to problem patients that you no longer want on the roster, or what?”

Stifling a grin, she said, “Some patients feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth after seeing Dorothy.”

“Which ones?  The masochists?”

Although I never sat in Dorothy’s chair again, facing an unknown hygienist for the first time always makes me a bit nervous.

Will she be competent, kind, and caring?  Or Dorothy’s evil twin?

As my first cleaning at the Island Dental Spa approached, my stomach fussed and fumed in mangled up, tangled up knots ~ the way it might feel if, while camping in the woods, I opened the flap of my tent and saw lions, tigers, and bears sitting at the picnic table waiting for breakfast.

Are they hoping I’ll serve them breakfast?  Or am I to be the main course?

BTW:  Wasn’t it Dorothy who skipped along the Yellow Brick Road in Ruby Slippers singing, “Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!”?  Hmm . . .


Lucky for me, the hygienist at the Island Dental Spa is nothing like Dorothy ~ either the singing nymph from Oz or the hygienist.

So, why am I telling you all this today?

This morning, I went to the Island Dental Spa for a routine cleaning and check up and received both good and bad news.

First, the bad news . . . I have to go back tomorrow for a crown.  Bummer!

The good news?

Two words . . . Nitrous Oxide.

I’m off to see the Wizard . . . the wonderful Wizard of Oz!

Related post:  Wabbit (Kate Shrewsday).  Here’s to the Year of the Rabbit!  


1. kateshrewsday - January 5, 2011

Glad this visit proved a bit more positive than Dorothy’s no-nonsense approach, Nancy 🙂
Really lovely post. I was right there with you.
Thanks for the link!

nrhatch - January 5, 2011

Your post made me think of the song White Rabbit, and psychedelic experiences, like visiting Oz while at the Dental Spa. 🙂


2. Arvik - January 5, 2011

Movies? Comfort menus? Sounds perfect! Although I’ve never had an experience like yours with Dorothy (I’ve seen my dentist since childhood, and she is the gentlest, kindest person), I’ve had a love-hate relation with dentists. I worry about the state of my mouth, so I want to go for reassurance… but at the same time, I’m afraid to go in case they do tell me bad news, and have to stick my with various needles and pointy things.

Great post!

nrhatch - January 5, 2011

Today, during my cleaning, I had a paraffin hot wax treatment for my hands while resting on the heated massage chair.

So relaxing.

But I’m a bit bummed about the crown. I’d rather have a crown on my head than in my mouth. And they would cost about the same.

3. souldipper - January 5, 2011

*Looking for my dentist’s email address to forward this information!*

Great to hear that old tune again, Nancy.

nrhatch - January 5, 2011

Thanks to Kate for her post, Wabbit, with a White Rabbit at the top . . . 🙂

Maybe you should send the link to the Island Dental Spa to your dentist ~ most of the treatments are designed to lull patients into a state of relaxation which makes the dentist’s job easier since he has happier patients.

4. Booksphotographsandartwork - January 5, 2011

I have the best dentist in the world! She is great. And I am the worst patient in the world. Nitrous? Yes and then some. Valium? Yes and a little more please. I have never been able to watch T.V. while at the dentist. My eyes are scrunched shut and I am almost balled up into a knot. My last cleaning was great though, no problems. But the crown, oh my I needed a little more Valium as I had none. A spa dentist. Hmmm. That might be going a little too far. I hope your crownig experience will be better than mine. And remember take a little of everything!

nrhatch - January 5, 2011

Thanks, Linda. I’ve had really wonderful dentists over the years, but this place is the most relaxing. My hands still feel happy ~ and I’ve been home for 9 hours.

5. Carol Ann Hoel - January 5, 2011

You have really made me laugh. What a cool dental office! Blessings to you…

nrhatch - January 5, 2011

Yay! Laughter is good. Dr. Yatros and his staff are wonderful ~ it’s a good place to be.

6. suzicate - January 5, 2011

Having been a dental office manager for ten years, I love this post. A spa dental experience, hmmm, I think this office is on to something. And yes, we had a Dorothy at our office as well, but not for long!

nrhatch - January 5, 2011

Thanks, Suzicate! “Dental Spa” is now an entry in Wikipedia . . .


They are growing in popularity! I did a quick google search and found Dental Spas in Philadelpia, DC, California, etc.

7. jannatwrites - January 5, 2011

Ooh, I saw a Dorothy once – she sliced my gums with the floss after yanking too hard in between every tooth (she commented that I had ‘tight contacts’…duh!) Then she seemed shocked that I was bleeding. She may as well have used paring knives.

The dental spa sounds nice, though. It’s funny that a dentist would serve cookies though 🙂

I hope the nitrous oxide makes the crown placement bearable.

nrhatch - January 5, 2011

I tease them about the cookies all the time ~ “well, that’s one way to drum up new business.” 🙂

I’ve actually only had nitrous oxide once before ~ for 2 cavities ~ I felt like I was floating on cloud 9 for the rest of the day.

8. Cindy - January 6, 2011

I want to go there; dentists are my all-time greatest fear.

nrhatch - January 6, 2011

You’re not alone.

Search “Dental Spa” and see if any dentists in SA are following the trend.

If not, fly here, visit me, and I’ll make you an appointment with Dr. Yatros!

9. tsuchigari - January 6, 2011

My sadist of a dentist decided that it would be a great idea to fill my 4yr old son’s two cavities without nitrous and one without Novocaine. He had his reasons I’m sure but jeesh!

Looking into finding a pediatric dentist…

nrhatch - January 6, 2011

Wow! I would definitely look for another dentist.

And another toothpaste.

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