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Dentists Use Dogs for Anxious Patients

February 28, 2022
by The Washington Post


The first time 11-year-old Levi McAllister had a tooth pulled, he screamed, kicked and struggled so much that his mom had to hold him down.

So when Levi returned to Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry in January to get two more teeth pulled, dental hygienist Barb Kucera had a surprise for him: a friendly yellow Labrador retriever named Atkins.

“Would you like Atkins to lie on your lap?” she asked.

Levi nodded, and Kucera helped Atkins hop into the dental chair and rest her head on a pillow on Levi’s chest. As Levi stroked the soft fur on Atkins’s ears, the dentist numbed Levi’s mouth and eased out two of his teeth.

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