FAQ’s About Our Facility Dog

FAQ’s About Our Facility Dog

facility dog and dental assistant in pediatric dental office.

Dental Assistant Kayla Black and our facility dog, KENNEDY.

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the addition of our facility dog, KENNEDY to our pediatric dental practice. We know many of our patient families might have questions regarding KENNEDY, so we compiled a list of FAQ’s.

How is KENNEDY, Rehabilitative Facility Dog, benefiting the DWC patients?

KENNEDY provides Deep Pressure Therapy for our patients. This is achieved when she is positioned in the chair with the patient during their dental procedure.

Deep Pressure Therapy is proven to lower heart rate, reduce blood pressure and mitigate the symptoms of anxiety. If patients prefer not to have her in the chair but believe her presence will improve their dental experience she can still be in the room with them during their appointment.

Who owns KENNEDY and where does KENNEDY live?

KENNEDY is owned by paws4people® and is assigned to our dental assistant, Kayla. When KENNEDY is not working at DWC she lives with Kayla and is a member of her family.

What about infection control? How can a dog be in a dental office?

Assistance and Facility Dogs are being utilized nationwide in various medical settings. paws4people® has Facility Dogs that are currently assigned in various medical settings including the UNC Chapel Oncology Clinic and the UNC Chapel Hill Dental School.

A dental office is a “clean” environment not a “sterile” environment. An example of a sterile environment is a hospital surgical setting. Patients in non-sterile, “clean” settings enter the treatment area with germs on their clothes, on their skin and in their hair. When KENNEDY assists with a patient she is either on the patient’s lap or on the floor near the patient, several feet from the patient’s mouth and the instruments that are being used.

I’m not comfortable with a dog in the office but I want to continue to be a patient at DWC. Is this possible?

Yes. KENNEDY is utilized with patients only on a request basis. If coming into contact with KENNEDY is a concern please alert our team and we will take extra precautions to make sure your request is honored.

What precautions have you put in place for patients that have a fear of dogs or have a dog allergy?

We have a HEPA filter in place to help reduce allergens in the office. Along with that, chair barriers and blankets are used and areas are disinfected and cleaned after each KENNEDY visit.

We also have areas in the office that are “dog free” zones. KENNEDY never enters these areas. Please let us know if you would prefer your child’s visit to occur in one of these areas.

Call us to discuss your specific needs 910-794-2266.