Maybe you've heard of spa dentistry, but you aren't sure what it is or how it might benefit you. Spa dentistry is still a relatively new offering, and it can mean different things depending on the dental care provider. Some dental spas focus on pampering the patient, others provide therapeutic treatments that complement the dental work, and still others offer cosmetic or facial procedures along with dental procedures. And many combine two or more of these approaches. Take a look at the benefits of a dental spa and find out if this might be an approach to dental work that's right for you.

Relieve Anxiety

There are few routine medical procedures that can cause as much anxiety for many people as a visit to the dentist's office. Whether it stems from a bad childhood experience or a phobia of drills and needles, many people regard even regular dental checkups as something to be feared, and sometimes the anxiety is so pronounced that patients actually avoid routine checkups or even needed treatments.

If you're anxious about seeing the dentist, choosing a dental spa that pampers its patients with aromatherapy, hot towels and neck pillows, DVD goggles, or high-tech headphones might be the key to overcoming that anxiety. All of this pampering can help you relax before and during your treatment. Instead of steeling yourself to be brave and coming away from the experience exhausted, you can choose perks that help you remain calm and leave the dentist feeling peaceful and refreshed.

Reduce Dependence on Pain Meds

Dentists who operate spa dentistry clinics usually offer patients a choice of methods for pain relief, including the standard numbing gels and shots, and even sedation dentistry when appropriate. However, patients using a spa dental clinic that offers therapeutic treatments like massage and acupressure may be able to choose to use these treatments to eliminate or lessen their need for traditional pain meds.

This can come in handy if you prefer not to use pain medications, have allergies to common medications, or simply don't want to leave the dental office feeling numb or groggy. Whether you should or shouldn't use pain medications for any specific dental procedure is something that you should discuss with your dentist, but you may have a few additional options at a dental spa that you wouldn't have in an ordinary dental office.

Save Time

If you're interested in having work done on more than just your face, choosing a dental spa that offers other cosmetic treatments as well can save you time. In one spa day, you could have your teeth whitened, botox injections administered, and a manicure done. One-stop shopping is popular for a reason—this is a way to get an entire makeover that includes your teeth in one sitting. You may also find that you save money on these procedures by paying for several at once.

Because not every dental spa offers everything typically thought of as a spa treatment, it's a good idea to check out exactly what a particular dental spa offers before booking an appointment. Visit the spa in person for an up-close look so that you can decide whether the spa is right for you, or get in touch with a dentist in your area right away for a checkup if you've been putting it off.