Online Exclusives

Scents and Smiles

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | November 3, 2009

Transcendentist rolls out aromatherapy-based products for dental practices.

For a dentist who employs relaxation techniques during cleanings and is a certified Tai chi instructor, using eco-friendly products would seem like a natural fit. But for Dr. Fred Pockrass, finding green dental products to use in his practice wasn’t an easy task.

So, he created his own.

As the founder of the first green dental office in the U.S., Dr. Pockrass has rolled out a line of green dental products including Joysence, an all-natural aromatherapy line specifically for dental offices. The range includes a CDC-compliant hand-sanitizer containing organic alcohol, as well as a scented lotion, hand soap and room and hot towel spritz.

His practice—Transcendentist in Berkeley, CA—has used aromatherapy and other eco/natural techniques since it opened its doors in 2003.

“We designed the practice to help people feel a sense of calm and relaxation while their teeth and mouth are being taken care of.Using an aromatherapy scent is a critical piece of that,” said Ina Pockrass, co-founder of Transcendentist, who is also Dr. Pockrass’ wife.

The goal, she said, is to “shift the scent associated with the old paradigm of dentistry and create a line of products using the power of natural plant-based scents to facilitate a feeling of being grounded and uplifted.”

To achieve that with Joysence, Transcendentist turned to natural perfumer Mandy Aftel—and hired a reliable, like-minded manufacturer that could address industry-specific issues, such as CDC guidelines.
The Joysence range from Transcendentist includes hand soap as well as scented lotion, hot towel spritz and a CDC-compliant hand-sanitizer.
“Our contract manufacturer shares our values and commitment to sustainability and natural ingredients, and they have been a dream to work with,” Ms. Pockrass said. “We were already on the same wavelength about making the eco-friendly choice wherever possible with the Joysence products, and they went the extra mile to find us sandalwood from a fair trade source,” Ms. Pockrass said. While Transcendentist offered a limited line of eco-friendly products, it picked the recent 15th anniversary celebration of the American Dental Association in Hawaii to unveil its expanded range of eco-friendly, re-usable cloth products and Joysence.

With more eco-focused products hitting the marketplace, there’s a greater need among dentists for education about green dentistry. To that end, Dr. Pockrass founded the Eco-Dentistry Association in May. It currently has more than 400 members in 40 U.S. states and four countries. These dental professionals are targeting patients who want providers that share their commitment to personal and planetary well being, according to Ms. Pockrass.

“There are between 75 and 100 million values-based Americans who use an environmental litmus test to guide their purchasing decisions, and they all have teeth,” she said. “These are the same people driving the organic food and fuel-efficient car movements…We expect this market growth to not only continue, but to expand rapidly over the next two to five years.”
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