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Canberra Today 3°/9° | Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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Dr Henriette’s ‘dental spa’ of comfort and kindness

Left: Welcome to Integrated Dental Canberra… nurses Brooke, left and Gypsy. Right: Practice principal Dr Henriette Macri-Etienne… “We aim to create a dental spa feel.”

‘Our passion is to change the old paradigm that dentistry has to be painful and unpleasant,’ says Dr HENRIETTE MACRI-ETIENNE, principal of Integrated dental Canberra.

Since moving her practice to Canberra, dentist Dr Henriette Macri-Etienne has noticed a couple of things she enjoys most among the many “beautiful things” the city has to offer – the sight of early-morning cyclists, joggers and walkers by the lake, and her patients’ readiness to ask questions and seek information.

Both go to the heart of Dr Macri-Etienne’s determination to bring a new paradigm of dentistry to the capital – the “importance of the whole person” or the mind-body connection, and the need to empower patients on their own journey to dental and broader health.

Henriette is an award-winning dentist, recognised in the industry for her special expertise in treating patients with dental anxiety and dental phobia and is also invested in bringing the latest high-tech dental treatment to her Moore Street, Civic, practice, Integrated Dental Canberra. 

She says Integrated Dental Canberra has both state-of-the-art equipment (for example, the ability to produce same-day, high-quality crowns in-house) and a unique “comfort menu” designed to relax patients and provide a “spa-like” experience. 

The practice has a team of dentists skilled in the latest, high-end treatments and cosmetic dentistry, such as veneers, as well as general dentistry and links to allied health practitioners to assist with related treatments and therapies. 

Henriette, who has received awards for “innovation” in dentistry and, in 2023, for more than 10 years managing dental trauma and special needs dentistry, has made the move to Canberra after more than 15 years running her own practices in Lithgow and Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

She sees the move as a chance to both enjoy the lifestyle of the Bush Capital and introduce what she sees as a unique style of dentistry to Canberra. 

“Our team takes a holistic view, which allows us to consider the whole person, not just their teeth and mouths,” she says. 

“This means we consider a whole range of factors such as anxieties, fears, shame and avoidance. These are things we all experience at different times in our lives around a range of issues and there is no judgement attached to them. But with care, we can tailor treatment plans to people’s needs.

“Our passion is to change the old paradigm that dentistry has to be painful and unpleasant. We aim to create a dental spa feel to our practice and space.”

Another particular passion of Henriette’s is for anxious patients to know they’re not alone. 

“Rarely a day goes by when I don’t meet someone who has dental fear in some capacity,” she says. 

“And this is not a simple concept – its origins can be rooted in unique experiences and entrenched within the body as well as the mind.”

Her wish is that dental anxiety does not deter people from seeking treatment, or even a check -up and clean. Avoiding or delaying dental visits can lead to worsening problems and more significant treatments, and can also impact on overall health. 

“Dental health doesn’t sound as ‘sexy’ as a work-out in the gym or as invigorating as a morning walk, but our mouths are a gateway to both our body and mind and good oral health can have a very positive impact on our overall health and how we think about ourselves – the mouth-mind-body connection,” she says. 

In addition to simple empathy, compassion and human kindness, Integrated Dental Canberra has a broad menu of “comfort” options, including warm pillows, weighted blankets, noise-cancelling headphones, a full range of pain management options, a range of relaxation therapies and alliances with allied health practitioners. 

And, of course, the practice sees many patients who are lucky to not feel anxiety, but just enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, welcoming staff and state-of-the-art treatment by expert and highly-trained dentists. 

Happily, Henriette has found Canberrans a receptive and interested lot – whether back from a walk by the lake or on a break from the office!

Bookings with Dr Macri-Etienne and her team can be made at integrateddentalcanberra.au

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Ian Meikle, editor

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