Dentist Uses Certified Dental Therapy Dog to Ease Fears

It’s reported more than 30 million people each year put off seeing dentist, mostly due to anxiety. An Upstate South Carolina dentist has turned to using a therapy dog to make a visit to their practice more pleasant.

ProGrin Dental in Woodruff has the only certified dental therapy dog in the Upstate. Barley is a chocolate lab who has received special training to work in a dental office environment, where she offers comfort by sitting on a patient’s lap or simply offering herself for a friendly head rub.

Barley as she comforts dental patient (Fox Carolina screenshot)

The addition of Barley brings to life the mission statement found on their website stating

“At ProGrin, we love our patients. No seriously, we do! Just making you merely satisfied with your smile isn’t good enough for us. We love what we do and we take pride in providing the highest quality dental care.”

There’s no charge for having Barley present during a procedure. Dr. Kaley Peek said many of the patients who once depended on conscious sedation such as valium and nitrous oxide found they didn’t need the relaxants on return visits once Barley came on board. She hopes Barley will continue to make patients more comfortable for years to come.

ProGrin Dental in Woodruff has the first trained dental therapy dog in the area (Fox Carolina screenshot)

Please click here for a short video of Barley at work.

Elisa Taylor

Elisa's articles have helped save thousands of the shelter pets she writes about, along with animal welfare and cruelty case articles which are published on as well as her personal website at (National Cat Reporter). Elisa lives with her daughter and a multitude of cats (including one cat­-dog named Cujo). As a writing "addict" Elisa enjoys sharing interesting stories with other animal lovers.