Everyone dreads the dentist. The overly air-conditioned waiting room, the high-pitched scream of the ultrasonic scaler, the fluorescent light in your eyes, the possible news of a cavity—the list goes on. Dentists know this, so some smart ones are using design to ease the anxieties of their patients—and attract new ones. Instead of cold, clinical environments, these doctors favor warm, naturally lit Scandinavian spaces with personal touches. The message? Pursuing health care shouldn’t feel bad. Here are seven clinics that might actually make you like going to the dentist.

Luxin Orthodontic Clinic, Taoyuan City, Taiwan

At a glance, this Taoyuan City, Taiwan dental clinic looks like the home of a stylish, minimalist-minded friend. It even has floor cushions in the waiting room. But peer past the terra cotta tiles and wooden furniture and you’ll see subtle signs of dentistry at work. Belgian architect Germain Canon and Taiwanese industrial designer Mia Li used an open-floor plan for the treatment rooms at Luxin Orthodontic Clinic, so that the space fills with natural light and feels more convivial—like a salon. Same goes for the file room, pictured here. “We transformed it into a glass treasure box,” Canon says. The designers had personal incentive to create a welcoming space: Luxin is Li’s dentist.

Germain Canon

At a glance, this Taoyuan City, Taiwan dental clinic looks like the home of a stylish, minimalist-minded friend. It even has floor cushions in the waiting room. But peer past the terra cotta tiles and wooden furniture and you’ll see subtle signs of dentistry at work. Belgian architect Germain Canon and Taiwanese industrial designer Mia Li used an open-floor plan for the treatment rooms at Luxin Orthodontic Clinic, so that the space fills with natural light and feels more convivial—like a salon. Same goes for the file room, pictured here. “We transformed it into a glass treasure box,” Canon says. The designers had personal incentive to create a welcoming space: Luxin is Li’s dentist.

Lydian Dental, Tempe, Arizona

Lydian Dental turned to Silicon Valley design tactics when planning its clinic in Tempe, Arizona. “Lydian was influenced by disruptor brands like Warby Parker and Casper,” says David Galullo, creative director of San Francisco firm Rapt Studio, who oversaw the clinic’s design. That explains the Navajo throw blankets on the dentist chairs and the photo booth for capturing your freshly cleaned pearly whites on film. Like those model companies, Lydian’s branding extends to even the smallest details, like custom toothbrushes and toothpaste, which Rapt also designed.

Rapt Studio

Lydian Dental turned to Silicon Valley design tactics when planning its clinic in Tempe, Arizona. “Lydian was influenced by disruptor brands like Warby Parker and Casper,” says David Galullo, creative director of San Francisco firm Rapt Studio, who oversaw the clinic’s design. That explains the Navajo throw blankets on the dentist chairs and the photo booth for capturing your freshly cleaned pearly whites on film. Like those model companies, Lydian’s branding extends to even the smallest details, like custom toothbrushes and toothpaste, which Rapt also designed.

Grand Street Dental, Brooklyn

Corporate dentistry, whereby companies franchise dental clinics like fast-food chains, is on the rise, and with it the proliferation of drab clinic designs. “The result is a larger, blander, and more impersonal experience,” says Brooklyn dentist Jennifer Plotnick. To capture the warmth and familiarity of old-school family practices, Plotnick designed Grand Street Dental herself, right down to the Farrow & Ball paint colors. Her space is on-trend—think cacti arrangements, Herman Miller furniture, cheeky pencils inscribed with “Don’t chew this,” and geometric, technicolor art prints—but thoroughly personal. Plotnick’s husband and friends created the hanging art, and the shelves are lined with her books. She’s even opening up her basement as a studio for local artists.

Grand Street Dental

Corporate dentistry, whereby companies franchise dental clinics like fast-food chains, is on the rise, and with it the proliferation of drab clinic designs. “The result is a larger, blander, and more impersonal experience,” says Brooklyn dentist Jennifer Plotnick. To capture the warmth and familiarity of old-school family practices, Plotnick designed Grand Street Dental herself, right down to the Farrow & Ball paint colors. Her space is on-trend—think cacti arrangements, Herman Miller furniture, cheeky pencils inscribed with “Don’t chew this,” and geometric, technicolor art prints—but thoroughly personal. Plotnick’s husband and friends created the hanging art, and the shelves are lined with her books. She’s even opening up her basement as a studio for local artists.

Ortho Wijchen, Wijchen, Netherlands

An ever-growing body of research suggests that spending time in green, natural settings supports good health. In fact, a recent study suggests even looking at pictures of outdoor spaces can help reduce stress. Architects from Amsterdam firm Studio Prototype applied these ideas when designing Ortho Wijchen, a Dutch orthodontia clinic. The treatment area follows an open-floor plan, and patient chairs face floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over a tree-lined garden landscape. For adolescent patients who get braces tightened once a month, the view promises to take at least some of the edge off.

Studio Protoype

An ever-growing body of research suggests that spending time in green, natural settings supports good health. In fact, a recent study suggests even looking at pictures of outdoor spaces can help reduce stress. Architects from Amsterdam firm Studio Prototype applied these ideas when designing Ortho Wijchen, a Dutch orthodontia clinic. The treatment area follows an open-floor plan, and patient chairs face floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over a tree-lined garden landscape. For adolescent patients who get braces tightened once a month, the view promises to take at least some of the edge off.

Washington Square Park Dental, San Francisco

Washington Square Park Dental’s slick office looks a little like the set of Ex Machina, what with its sparing use of color and neatly arranged corridor of treatment rooms. The clinic’s approach, conceived by Santa Monica, California Montalba Architects, likely appeals to its high-tech San Francisco patients.Montalba Architects kept things minimal, but avoided a design that felt hermetic. Patients sit in front of a small indoor garden; perforated acoustic panels offer privacy but still allow light to filter throughout the office; and there’s a TV embedded in the ceiling above every patient’s chair so they can watch whatever they like—Netflix, Hulu, you name it. Think of it like a swanky, open-office version of the dentist.

Montalba Architects

Washington Square Park Dental’s slick office looks a little like the set of Ex Machina, what with its sparing use of color and neatly arranged corridor of treatment rooms. The clinic’s approach, conceived by Santa Monica, California Montalba Architects, likely appeals to its high-tech San Francisco patients.Montalba Architects kept things minimal, but avoided a design that felt hermetic. Patients sit in front of a small indoor garden; perforated acoustic panels offer privacy but still allow light to filter throughout the office; and there’s a TV embedded in the ceiling above every patient’s chair so they can watch whatever they like—Netflix, Hulu, you name it. Think of it like a swanky, open-office version of the dentist.

A Warm Clinic, Tianjin, China

Nothing puts people on edge like a dentist’s waiting room. Maybe it’s the cold, plastic chairs—or worrying about how someone is about to pry your mouth open with metal tools. Architecture firm Rigi designed the waiting room for A Warm Clinic, a dental office in Tianjin, China, to calm patients’ nerves. To put adults at ease, the designers nixed the DMV-like rows of chairs in favor of a Scandinavian dining room table, where patients can drink tea. For nervous kids, there’s a playroom with animal-shaped furniture. Even A Warm Clinic’s logo—a peach-colored ‘D’—is sunny.

RIGI Design

Nothing puts people on edge like a dentist’s waiting room. Maybe it’s the cold, plastic chairs—or worrying about how someone is about to pry your mouth open with metal tools. Architecture firm Rigi designed the waiting room for A Warm Clinic, a dental office in Tianjin, China, to calm patients’ nerves. To put adults at ease, the designers nixed the DMV-like rows of chairs in favor of a Scandinavian dining room table, where patients can drink tea. For nervous kids, there’s a playroom with animal-shaped furniture. Even A Warm Clinic’s logo—a peach-colored ‘D’—is sunny.

Horcek Dental, Portland, Oregon

Horacek Dental lives in a former wood shop in Portland, Oregon. To honor the building’s history, local architecture studio Fieldwork salvaged wood and machinery leftover from the shop’s demolition and incorporated it into the office’s furniture and light fixtures, respectively. Horacek divides its office into two tooth-themed spaces: The “nerve” is a cozy staff quarters lined with dark felt, while the “enamel” is a series of naturally lit waiting and treatment rooms filled with Eamesian chairs, Alvar Aalto-inspired stools, and coffee serving stations.

Brian Walker Lee

Horacek Dental lives in a former wood shop in Portland, Oregon. To honor the building’s history, local architecture studio Fieldwork salvaged wood and machinery leftover from the shop’s demolition and incorporated it into the office’s furniture and light fixtures, respectively. Horacek divides its office into two tooth-themed spaces: The “nerve” is a cozy staff quarters lined with dark felt, while the “enamel” is a series of naturally lit waiting and treatment rooms filled with Eamesian chairs, Alvar Aalto-inspired stools, and coffee serving stations.

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Classy-as-Hell Dentist Offices We Wouldn’t Actually Dread Visiting