Scary lights, intrusive equipment and high-pitched sounds that make you squirm are what normally come to mind when one thinks of a visit to the dentist's office.
Not so for the patients of Dr. Patty's Dental Boutique in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., a dentist office that doubles as a beauty spa.
"There are about 30 to 40 million Americans who suffer from dental anxiety," Dr. Patty, whose real name is April Patterson, told ABC News' Bianna Golodryga. "I wanted to do everything I can to make those clients feel like they are not at the dentist."
To do that, Patterson created an office that is definitely not your father's dentist's office. Her version features treatments you'd get at your everyday spa - from facials to massages to eyelash extensions and a brow bar - along with the typical dental work.
"I offer high-end, quality dental services along with a full menu of spa services," Patterson said.
"I can give you a great example of how all the services kind of work together," she said. "A client is coming in to have their dental veneers done. They come in an hour early [and] they can have a facial or a massage while their valium takes effect. They come in to start their dental procedure and they're nice and relaxed."
A typical client is one like Christina Carter, who came to Patterson's office to have her braces removed but stayed for a scheduled facial.
"A busy professional like myself, it's a one-stop shop where I can get my dental work done and I can also get a facial and massage and just relax," Carter told ABC News. "When you're busy, it's just so nice to have everything all at one spot."
It's not just women like Carter, however, who appreciate the one-stop solution Patterson has built. Men like Andrew Heller, who came in for veneers but left with Botox, as well, are also her clients.
"I'm thrilled," Heller said of his new look after Patterson put filler around his mouth and injected Botox in his forehead.
"It turned out better than I could have imagined, but it took her a tremendous amount of convincing to do more than just enhancing the teeth," he said.
For Patterson, her combination dental office and spa is about more than just cosmetics.
"This is not just about teeth," she said. "This is also about building confidence and changing lives."
- Dental Care