The Zen of Zentistry: This New Practice Redefines the Dental Experience - Mirror,Mirror

New York-based dental clinic Zentistry opens in Manila, bringing its brand of luxury dental care to the local market and helping eradicate your fear of the dentist

Going to the dentist. The very idea is enough to summon a sigh. No one likes going to the dentist: it’s a chore most of the time. At best all you need is a cleaning (or in dental terms, oral prophylaxis), and even that means lying with your mouth gaped open for an uncomfortable amount of time. At worse you need a root canal. One is worse than the other, but neither is pleasurable.

Read More: Hydrofacial is a Customizable Treatment That Can Boost Your Skin’s Radiance

Enter Zentistry. The brainchild of Dr. Sonny Torres Oliva, Zentistry uses scientifically based principles with a focus on elevating a patient’s dental experience. According to Chief Operating Officer Dr. Cara Gonzalez, Zentistry practices the Sensory Remodeling Technique: the idea that the brain is capable of rewiring and creating new associations to previous experiences when reinforced with new experiences. Thus, all your bad memories at the dentist will slowly melt away after enough sessions at Zentistry.

“There are 5 principles of Zentistry that are based on the Sensory Remodeling Technique. These principles serve as the backbone of what we do,” says Dr. Gonzalez. The first is Sight. When a patient walks in for their treatment, they are greeted with a calm and relaxing visual. “We designed our clinical space for Zentistry with the patient’s psyche and behavior in mind,” she says. “We also made sure that the design aspect of the clinic promotes good workflow for our dentists.”

The second is sound. Sound therapy is utilized in the clinic. “The human body is generally made of water and understanding that sound waves travel more effectively in any liquid state allows us the create a uniquely relaxing experience during your dental visit,” says Dr. Gonzalez.

The third is smell. Wanting to avoid the distinct, sterile smell in typical dental practices, Zentistry reimagined how a practice should smell with hints of lavender in the treatment rooms and fresh citrus scents in the common areas. “We understand the science behind each scent and how they inspire a unique response,” says Dr. Gonzalez.

The next principle is Somatosensory. This is a gentle touch, a soothing, comforting feeling of a warm towel, a firm but purposeful pressure on distinct trigger points, and the luxurious feeling of a fully appointed bed. “We understand how patients respond to touch,” she says.

The last is the principle of Service. “In Zentistry our patients always come first. From the minute they check in to the time they schedule their next appointment each patient is treated with the utmost care,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “Professionalism and clinical credibility are of the highest importance.”

Dr. Gonzalez says that these five principles allow Zentistry to elevate the patient experience, and replace previously formed negative biases with a positive experience at the clinic. “This elevated experience encourages patients to be proactive in taking better care of their oral health. We change the way people receive dentistry and in turn, they change the way they perceive dentistry,” she says.

Empowering the Patient

Most people put oral care at the back of their minds, and only seriously go when something is already problematic. What Zentistry wants is for patients to understand that the mouth is the gateway to the body. “So much of your overall wellness can be directly related to oral health. Prevention is always better than cure,” says Dr. Gonzalez.

The practice at Zentistry is hygiene-driven. The cleaning process makes use of the appropriate diagnostic tools in a calm and serene environment, with the goal being to empower patients to be more mindful of their oral wellness and to help them make informed decisions when it comes to their own dental care.

“When patients are treated with the utmost care during their cleaning and are given all the information they need to better care for themselves, we can push them to be healthier versions of themselves and it all begins with their teeth,” says Dr. Gonzalez.

Dentists are known to have one of the most stressful professions, due to their role in society always being associated with fear and anxiety. “We realized that when you change the way people experience dentistry, the stress on the dentists and more importantly, the stress the patients feel are significantly removed,” says Dr. Gonzalez, adding, “We believe that a happy patient makes a happy practice.”

A Homecoming

Dr. Oliva, who is called “The Zentist” by the New York Times, has been based in New York for over 25 years, practicing for 20 years. The Midtown office is run mostly by Filipinos, built up by the collective efforts of fellow Filipinos both as staff and as patients. “It has been such a great way to showcase Filipino talent, skill, and hospitality to a global market. The practice in New York has grown exponentially since its beginning and Dr. Oliva had always dreamed that the rest of the world could experience this,” says Dr. Gonzalez.

Because of his obvious ties to Manila and the emerging market, Zentistry partnered with Dr. Lennie Buhain to open Zentistry in the Philippines. “In a way, we see this as a homecoming for Zentistry,” says Dr. Gonzalez.

The dentists at the Manila practice undergo training in their New York office, continuing their dental education in the Zentistry way. “While we built an environment for relaxation and ridden of the typical dental practice set-up, it is the competence and quality service of our dentists that make our patients stay,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “It’s the combination of a luxurious environment, warm hospitality, and quality dentistry that make Zentistry an experience like no other.”

The main goal of Zentistry is to create a shift in the way patients experience dentistry. Elevating the experience means a dental visit will no longer be feared; it will be something one looks forward to. “With this change in mentality, we empower our patients to become more proactive about their dental wellness,” says Dr. Gonzalez. “We want our patients to see us the game-changers in Filipino dentistry—that they can experience world-class dental treatment from the comforts of Manila.”

Zentistry is located on the 7th Floor of Icon Plaza Condominium, 26th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Book an appointment here

This story was published in the April 2022 issue of Lifestyle Asia

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]