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What Is a Dental Salon?

By Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
Updated Feb 12, 2024
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A dental salon is similar to a regular dental office. Workers in a dental salon usually concentrate on cosmetic procedures, however. The general feel of the dental salon approaches a boutique or spa atmosphere, with a stronger emphasis on overall health and wellness.

Dental salons typically offer basic services such as dental cleaning, examination and imaging. They also carry out fundamental tasks such as taking patients' medical histories. From there, the services depend on the demands of the community in which the salon is based, as well as the skill and specialties of the dentists. Many dentists are qualified to perform more extensive services such as oral surgery.

With an emphasis on cosmetic dentistry, many of the procedures offered in a dental salon are not covered by insurance. For instance, a basic cleaning usually is covered because cleaning is directly related to the health of the teeth and gums. Sharpening of the canine teeth for a "vampire" look, on the other hand, is a procedure done purely out of aesthetic preference, not medical need. Another similar example of such a service is Japanese yaeba, which purposely causes the teeth to look more misaligned under the premise that some imperfection in the teeth is beautiful. Some procedures cannot be locked into the medical or cosmetic category concretely, such as oral surgery that both corrects a painful teeth misalignment and improves the look of the jaw.

Dental salons want to make their work areas seem more inviting than traditional "sterile" dental offices. Subsequently, they often go to great lengths to make the salon seem warm and comfortable, such as using extremely plush recliners in the lobby or having beverages such as coffee or tea on hand. They may play soothing music or even light some candles, depending on how far they want to go in giving the salon or spa impression.

One reason some dental facilities call themselves a salon is because they want to give clients the impression that dental care does not need to be intimidating. They want to show clients that dental services, similar to massages, can be luxurious and are just as beneficial to both mental and physical health. A salon environment often works well for people who normally have anxiety about visiting a dental professional.

Similar to any other dental office, a dental salon must operate with qualified dentists and assistants. Dentists need to be licensed in the jurisdiction in which the salon operates, which requires completion of dental school and formal exams. Assistants also usually have at least two to four years of training and a certificate or degree, depending on their specific role.

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