SEATTLE - Monica Johnson is so terrified of going to the dentist, she went 15 years without an appointment.
“It’s not gonna happen,” she remembered. “I feel like a chicken. I wish I could explain it.”
A few months ago, she learned about Innovative Dentistry and their dental therapy dog, Humphrey
“People call and they say ‘I want to come to your office because of your dog,’” laughed Dr. Bob Berman.
After Dr. Berman adopted the three-year old Labradoodle, a trainer suggested certification because of his calm nature.
“Who would’ve thought when I graduated dental school that I’d be working with my dog next to me,” Dr. Berman said.
Each day, about two patients ask for Humphrey’s help. They hold his paw while he falls asleep on a bed beside them.
Humphrey helps Dr. Berman, too, since he’d rather not sedate patients. It’s easier to know they’re in pain, and for Monica, how her new crown fits.
“It’s nice to know how she’s hitting it so she doesn’t have to call and come back and have it adjusted,” Dr. Berman said.
Humphrey completed nearly a year of training for a day that took 15 years for Monica to face – her first dental work-up without sedation.
“I can’t believe I was this calm,” she said. “It makes me cry. It’s that life changing for me to be able to do this.”