Thanks to new dental startups, going to the dentist might soon become – gasp – fun.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Over in the land of straight white teeth (we mean the US, of course), dental startups have begun putting their money where your mouth is. Recognising how private practices can be enormously lucrative while being fully aware of the industry’s total lack of sex appeal, they’ve taken steps to woo more customers by revolutionising the dental experience.

Tend, a new dental clinic chain in New York, is all about the blond wood and marble. Its Flatiron outlet upholds the promise of zero waiting time, promptly whisking you into an Instagrammable room where you can freshen up at one of four blue and green marble sinks with gold taps.

Then you can check out a carefully curated range of stylish dental products – from minimalist Quip electric toothbrushes to premium toothpaste brands like Marvis, a Florence-based brand with vintage-inspired packaging.

Thanks to a ceiling-mounted screen, you can Netflix while your Tend dentist is working on your teeth. And though you’re provided with Bose headphones, you probably won’t need them since the electric instruments don’t produce those disconcerting whirring sounds.

The experience at Henry the Dentist (pictured above) is similar. It also has noise-cancelling headsets, both HBO and Netflix, and massage chairs. The difference: the same experience can also take place in its mobile clinic (left).

The brand aims to improve the dental health of busy executives, and “reimagines how going to the dentist should be by elevating the brand experience at every touchpoint”.

So far, Henry the Dentist has been well received, and has a prestigious client list that includes Merck and CNBC, with 15 to 30 per cent of employees making use of on-site services. Now you can grin – and not have to bear it.
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