I forget I’m in a dentist’s office as I nestle into a sleek chair with down-stuffed aqua pillows, sip a cup of hot herbal tea, listen to soothing music and flip through a magazine. It feels like a spa — because it is. Auburn Dental Associates changed its name to Auburn Dental Spa in January 2011 to reflect the addition of day-spa amenities and services to the practice.
Dentists across the country, primarily in large cities, have recently incorporated spa services into their offices to create a more relaxing environment for their patients. Dr. Brad Litkenhous, owner and sole dentist of Auburn Dental Spa, along with wife Susie, researched this concept and realized both the benefits and need of a practice like this in our area. Litkenhous has seen patients in the past avoid dental visits due to anxiety and thought a spa environment would ease the stress. “Routine care is very important in dentistry,” says Litkenhouse. “I have found that patients who have experienced our dental spa feel more relaxed and are more willing to come in for routine care and treatment. This allows us to intercept problems earlier, giving us more options and making restorations less extensive.”
As I tour the facility, I observe private dental rooms where patients lounge in treatment chairs, watching birds eat from feeders underneath Japanese maples. Auburn Dental Spa allows each patient to choose from a menu of complimentary spa services such as paraffin-wax hand treatments, herbal neck wraps, cool eye pillows, calming essential oils and warm lemon-scented towels to enjoy during the visit. Staff members are committed to serving patients, both adults and children, with excellent service and care. All of this is available for no extra cost, and Auburn Dental Spa is a provider for most dental insurance plans.
“Our purpose is to give you individualized, relaxing care and treatment in hopes that you will actually look forward to coming back to see us,” says Patient Relations Coordinator April Coulter.
Litkenhous offers a full range of dental services such as routine cleanings, crowns, composite fillings, root canals, porcelain veneers, Invisalign and affordable teeth whitening. He’s also a certified provider for Botox and Juvederm. “The goal of these treatments is to allow you to look naturally refreshed and rejuvenated, not fake,” says Litkenhous. Aside from the cosmetic uses, Litkenhous also provides treatment of TMJ, migraines and facial pain with Botox.
Down the hall from the treatment rooms is where I could spend all day. Esthetician Katy Hortenstine, licensed massage therapist Sarah Botzman and Lindy Perkins of Tanology have each created a sanctuary for their spa clients. Soft music, a trickling water fountain, soothing wall colors paired with neutral-tone furniture and accessories draw me in. Once again, I practically forget where I am.
Auburn Dental Spa is the first dental practice in Alabama to offer both a certified esthetician and licensed massage therapist. Hortenstine brings years of experience to the practice and provides services such as facials, chemical peels and waxing treatments. She works with clients, considers their lifestyle and budget, and creates customized skincare plans for them. Botzman offers a variety of massages such as Swedish, deep treatment tissue, hot stone, headache/sinus and TMJ relief. She’s also certified in performing prenatal massages. All of her services are intended to reduce stress and promote the general welfare of her clients.
For tanning clients, Perkins customizes organic, full-body airbrush tans, considering his or her skin color and type. These treatments help mask cellulite, stretch marks, varicose veins and freckles and can last up to two weeks.
Auburn Dental Spa’s mission is to serve patients’ needs by providing both progressive dental care and rejuvenating spa services in a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. It is obvious that Litkenhous genuinely cares about his patients’ total facial esthetics. He and his team continually strive to change the usual mindset of going to the dentist by providing a unique, calming experience. I know they’ve changed mine.
It’s the first time I’ve ever been at ease in a dentist’s office, and as I leave Auburn Dental Spa, I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
For more information, call 334.821.2846
or visit auburndentalspa.com.