At Helotes Family Dentistry, Dr. José Brigman wants to keep patients comfortable during treatments. When patients need a stronger distraction than the flat-screen TVs that are in every room, the staff provides electronic movie glasses and headphones during cleanings, fillings, and teeth-whitening treatments. The team also offers conscious sedation to especially anxious patients, which lets them stay alert and responsive while easing pretreatment jitters.
Family dentist Dr. Tom Watkins, who received his advanced training in dentistry while serving in the US Air Force, divides his time between fostering greater grins and teaching at the University of Texas Dental School. Dr. Alejandro Cavazos, previously a science teacher, employs his extensive experience in implants and oral surgery to provide a high level of care for his patients. Together, they helm W Dental Group, realigning teeth with ClearCorrect orthodontics and replenishing smiles by implanting dental prostheses or pieces of corn soldered in gold.
During exams, W Dental Group's staff snaps candid shots of teeth with x-rays to better assess overall dental health and identify any existing issues, then stores the photos in an electronic database, alongside clinical photographs and impressions, for future visits. They also assuage anxiety with sedation dentistry, helping patients to relax with nitrous oxide, IV sedation, or stories about a very calm whale learning to read.
The office makes time for philanthropic pursuits—the team recently participated in San Antonio's Smiles for Hope, an annual event for families unable to afford dental care or insurance, and Dr. Watkins regularly travels to Central and South America to deliver dental care to those without access to it.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all of the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
In cosmetology school, MieleDolce founder Luis Iturralde let his fellow students wax him for a class demonstration. His allergic reaction to the chemical wax made it a demonstration of more than proper waxing technique; his brief modeling gig also showed the importance of beauty treatments that avoid irritating skin. Iturralde carried this lesson to his spa, MieleDolce, where the staff sidestep chemical waxes in favor of threading or electrolysis.
The center’s specialty, however, consists of extending hair: its semipermanent silk and mink lash extensions come in a variety of lengths and curvatures, and technicians ensure a natural look by attaching them hair by hair. Additional services range from slimming body wraps infused with aloe vera and herbs to micro skin needling, an anti-aging treatment that can combat wrinkles, scarring, and signs of playing rugby in a crawlspace.
Under the direction of Dr. Sanjiv R. Kumar, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School, Sonterra Laser Med Spa's licensed aestheticians and laser technicians efface signs of aging with attention to detail that garners the spa regular attention on KENS 5's Great Day SA. Advanced skin-analysis machines scan faces before services to give technicians a closer look at bacteria, sun damage, and wrinkles not visible to the naked or clothed eye. The results determine what skincare services best suit each client, including glo minerals chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermal-filler injections. The Lumenis LightSheer Duet laser treatment utilizes a larger spot size to reach greater depths of penetration and destroys hair strands at the root.
Floss Dental's dentists and surgeons, many of whom are often featured on local TV stations, may specialize in preventative care, but they also beautify mouths with cosmetic- and reconstructive-surgery services, such as veneers, Invisalign, and dental implants. They harness panoramic x-rays to get a complete view of the teeth, and they broadcast these pictures on a TV, which helps them explain which treatments are necessary and to point out which tooth would look best with an inlaid diamond chip.
Floss Dental encourages patients to keep coming back by offering free Invisalign consultations and free Boost whitening once a year to those who maintain their regular cleanings. Flat-screen TVs and satellite radio entertain patients during their procedures, and sedation dentistry keeps them free from anxiety in a dream-like state.