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Published: Tuesday, 9/12/2006

Dentists go for amenities

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Jeanie Holzscheiter uses a wireless keyboard to change pictures for Cassanaundra Pitney.
Jeanie Holzscheiter uses a wireless keyboard to change pictures for Cassanaundra Pitney.
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Dental appointments typically are traumatic for Toledoan Cassaundra Pitney.

But being able to sip Starbucks coffee and surf the Internet in Dental Reflections at Briarfield's spa-inspired waiting room helps. So does watching a plasma television mounted on the exam room's ceiling to see what kind of dental treatment Dr. S. Mahmood is giving her.

And, starting next month, patients of the three-dentist Monclova Township office will be able to get relaxation massages in yet another room if they need one.

Those are a sampling of new amenities among the industry nationwide.

The office with aromatic candles, granite counters, wireless Internet access, warm towels, headphones, a selection of DVDs, and other touches replaced the basement Maumee digs for Dental Reflections, formerly known as Kaloti Dental Care.

"I love it," Ms. Pitney said yesterday. "It's beautiful."

Kaloti Kaloti
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Following a trend started in the 1980s, about half of dentists nationwide offer some spa or office amenities, such as neck rests, warm towels, and complimentary snacks and beverages, according to the American Dental Association.

Exceptional Dentistry Inc. of Toledo, for example, offers patients fresh-baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, heated massage dental chairs, and hot paraffin hand treatments.

Just 5 percent of dentists nationwide, though, go as far as giving patients massages, facials, pedicures, and manicures, according to the trade group.

Pinnacle Management, which owns the Monclova Township dental practice, designed the office to help alleviate stress for patients,

especially those who haven't seen a dentist for years out of fear, said Gus Kaloti, Pinnacle's president.

"It makes a huge difference for a patient," he said. "We want to make sure they're comfortable."

Dental Reflections is considering eventually adding pedicure service, Mr. Kaloti said. He declined to say how much the office equipped with digital x-rays, laser cavity detection, heated water lines, and other technological advancements cost.

Still, the business has not raised patient fees with the move, hoping to recoup costs from upgrades in volume, the president said.Pinnacle Management owns six dental offices in four states.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:

jmckinnon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6087.



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