When someone thinks of a dental office a few things come to mind – a waiting room, front desk, X-ray machine, dental chairs and sharp pointy instruments to mention a few. At the first-of-its-kind Pacific Dental Services® Foundation Dentists for Special Needs office in Phoenix, Arizona, these things have all been intentionally focused on the community of patients we serve each day.
From The Moment You Walk In
Starting with the reception area and front office, the color scheme and space is inviting and warm and entirely wheelchair-friendly. Our front desk is at a height that allows patients of all abilities to check in easily. We have tablets for patients to play while waiting but what’s most unique about this space is our sensory room. We put deliberate thought behind each item in this room with focus on sensory toys that allow patients to play and get acquainted with our office through touch, play and exploration. We have gel mats patients love to stomp on and squish. The walls are covered with encouraging words and more items to touch – heat boards that change colors, a sequin wall that changes color based on which direction they lay, a tablet with games preloaded (angry birds, fruit ninja, etc.) a bubble lamp that creates a relaxing white noise, and colorful lights that shine on the ceiling and change different shades. Lastly a trampoline which helps our patients relieve energy and can help with gravitation insecurity. This is helpful for certain patients who may have a fear of the dental chair reclining.
X-tra Thoughtful X-ray Equipment
Moving back to the X-ray operatory – it is equipped with technology that allows for CBCT scans as well as panoramic X-rays and a separate machine for bitewing and PA X-rays. Our equipment is digital which allows for less radiation and a smaller sensor to be utilized. It is also has state-of-the-art equipment help our patients achieve maximum comfort while getting the pictures necessary for diagnosis. Starting in the X-ray operatory and continuing down the hallway is a social story to help our patients know what to expect throughout their visit.
Moving down the hallway and through the operatories – we have sensory capes over each light. This softens the light and allows the space to feel more comfortable than the typical dental setting.
All of our operatories have doors to allow privacy and each has enough space to accommodate a wheel chair. All of our rooms are customized for our patient’s needs. We have an operatory for in-office general anesthesia, an operatory with two chairs that is used for modeling with patients and their siblings/parents or housemates, and an operatory without a dental chair which allows for those who choose to not transfer out of their wheelchair to have ample amounts of space. This room is also utilized for patients who have trouble with the traditional chair and may want to relax on the padded floor or bring a chair they like to use.
Why The Dandelion?
The intention behind this office is expressed throughout with a dandelion theme. Dandelions flourish in all types of environments—even under harsh, challenging conditions. Our hope for our patients is with the intentional space, extra time, caring doctor and staff, along with our generous donors and supporters we can create a long-lasting flourishing partnership. Through this partnership we hope to create a dental home for generations to come.