Rather Be at the Spa?

Other practices, such the Imagemax Dental Day Spa in Houston, charge separately for each service. Along with dentistry, Imagemax offers Swedish body massage, massage with hot stones, "body polishes" with sea salts, body wraps for weight loss, facials and Botox treatments, among other options.

The ADA, Harms says, considers quality dental care the top priority, but welcomes the meshing of luxury and dentistry for a simple reason.

"What will happen is patients will be more comfortable going to the dentist, and that will cause them to go more often," she says. "The ADA's main concern is the health and safety of our patients, and anything that can bring them into the office and improve their oral health is a darn good thing."

Harms sums up the boom in spa-dentistry this way: "It all really relates to what the patients are wanting, and we're not only dentists, we're small businesspeople. It's really fun to practice in an arena where you're giving patients what they want. I think it's a nicer way to practice dentistry, improving our lifestyle as well as patients' lifestyles."

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