Anyone used to the scrubbed-down, barren look of a typical dental clinic may think they've entered the wrong doors when walking into the Smile! Dental Boutique, in Warren.
Some might say the new 1,400-square foot office is more like a spa for your teeth: from the tastefully-decorated waiting area to the open treatment rooms, everything is designed to help reduce the stress patients feel, according to Dr. Huma Mizra.
"I think, ultimately, dentistry is a very personal thing—someone's going to be poking around in your mouth," Dr. Mizra said. "And it's best to be comfortable with that person to begin with."
Consequently, Dr. Mizra designed her new practice to aid in that relaxation. The waiting area, which features a large white leather sectional facing a TV, with vivid, pink orchid reproductions on the walls and matching pillows, will make most forget about the year-old news magazines one usually finds in waiting rooms.
Inside, the office is more open than typical dental clinics. To further help her patients relax, Dr. Mizra has special overhead TVs patients can watch during procedures (or view X-rays of their teeth on the digital system), while reclining in a massaging chair.
"I want it to be a fun place," she added.
Dr. Mizra, a resident of Watchung, has been practicing in Kearney but wanted to open a clinic closer to home, and one focused on offering the kind of experience she wanted her patients to have.
She has two employees—Office Manager Vivian Forero and Assistant Jenny Van Pelt—and is looking to add both professional and assisting help, but it's been a slow process.
"It is medical, but it is a service," she said, adding that means it's important to have service-oriented employees.
Dr. Mizra said opening a dental clinic is an area well-developed with fellow dentists presents some challenges, but she notes it's not about competition.
"I think it comes down to your personality and what you offer," she said.
That's what lead to her decision to decorate the offices like an upscale day spa, and choose to encourage patients to use relaxation techniques more than general anesthesia.
"I wanted you to feel like you're going to a spa," Dr. Mizra said. "We're trying to change the way people think about going to the dentist."