This year, Dr. Marra decided to introduce her dogs, Bella and Mia, to her dental practice. She and her husband had already trained, certified and volunteered with them in our community as a therapy dog team. They are small, hypoallergenic and have been trained to respect the “sterile field” of a doctor’s office. They have accomplished the desired effect of calming and relaxing anxious patients. In fact, during the first several months of their time at the office, we have seen initial blood pressure readings consistently drop 10 to 15 points, just five minutes after introducing a therapy dog to our patients in both the waiting area and treatment rooms. Patients are even requesting the comfort of our dogs for future appointments and are not only scheduling long overdue treatment needs but are actually looking forward to their next visits. The response to our beloved pets by our patients has been overwhelming. Our staff and the vast majority of even our non-fearful patients love Bella and Mia. Patients are referring others to our practice who they know are fearful of dental treatment and some are even traveling great distances for care. These two dogs have allowed Dr. Marra to achieve her greatest professional goal: taking the fear out of going to the dentist.