Impressions (of) – The Dental Hygiene Spa

The Dental Hygiene Spa is exactly what the name implies.  They want you to feel like you’re going to a spa, while they chip away at your dental sins.

In this blog, I’m usually against businesses that say they’re spas when really they’re up to something more sinister, but in this case, I’m making an exception because I went there this week and it was delightful.  As delightful as having someone scrape your teeth clean can be.
The Dental Hygiene Spa is at 1956 Danforth Avenue, on the north east corner at Woodmount, kitty corner to East Lynn Park.  Owner, Georgia, and her contractor husband did A LOT of renovations on the inside and outside of the building and it looks terrific.
I’m in between dentists at the moment, so I thought I would give it a try.  
Monday morning, 9 a.m.  – I have an appointment.  I go in.
The fire place is on.  The leather chairs are comfy.  I’m invited to remove my shoes and wear a pair of slippers, which are mine to keep.  
Would I like something – coffee, tea, hot chocolate?  Drink coffee before I get my teeth cleaned? What kind of alternate universe is this?  Uh…o.k. sure.  I’ll have coffee.  How do I take it? Uh…well…I…take…it…kinda…black?  (Dentists hate us black coffee drinkers..stain, stain, stain.  Tsk, tsk tsk.)
 No problem.  And back comes office manager, Natalie with a darn good cup of coffee and not even a hint of judgement on her face.
Georgia, owner and hygienist, comes into the waiting room with her cup of tea.  We chat.  It’s all so pleasant.
Enough chatting, let’s get this show on the road.  I follow Georgia into the little room.  It looks like most other little rooms in dentists office.  I tell her about my recent nightmarish experience with my dentist, accounting for my year off of cleanings.  She understands.
Would you like to listen to the radio, she says, watch TV?  Well, o.k.  I’ll indulge in a little daytime television, sure.  
Before we get started, she dips my hands into a large container of warm paraffin wax.  Mmmm…that’s nice too.  I’m at the spa!
I lay back into the massage chair and relax.
Then, of course, she cleans my teeth.  This is the part that doesn’t feel quite so spa-like, but whenever I start to feel stressed, I just concentrate on the little massage balls that are gently pursuing my mid-back and I’m back in spa mode.
Soon enough, it’s all over.  My teeth are clean.  My hands are soft.  I’ve had my fill of home decor and fashion advice from the flat-screen t.v.  I’m on my way.
How can all this be you ask?  How can you run a dental business with just a hygienist and no dentist?  
One year ago, amendments to the Dental Hygiene Act in Ontario made it possible for hygienists to clean teeth outside the traditional dental office without a procedural ‘order’ from a dentist.  Hygienists in Ontario are regulated by the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario which governs the profession to ensure the public receives safe and effective oral health care.
Georgia is on the forefront.  The Dental Hygiene Spa is one of only a handful of businesses like it in Ontario and one of the very first in Toronto.  She and her husband and young daughter live in the neighbourhood.  Children are welcome and they do all the usual scaling, stain removal and flouride as well as sealants, desensitizing, denture cleaning, custom mouthgards and whitening.  They also sell some whitening products and fancy toothbrushes.  
My insurance company told me they’ll cover it in the same way they would cover services obtained through a dentists office.
Check it out.
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