Former hygienist from Burr Ridge offers change in dental scenery
Janet Shangle is a Burr Ridge resident who designs and sells posters that are in 450-plus dental offices nationwide. They give patients something to do and look at while in the chair. | Joe Cyganowski~for Sun-Times Media
SPECIALTY: Decorative posters that double as interactive seek-and-find activities for dental patients
LOCATION: Burr Ridge
CONTACT: smilescapesusa.com, email@example.com
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:36PM
BURR RIDGE — A dental hygienist for 33 years, Janet Shangle knows the importance of making a patient’s time in the dental chair as comfortable as possible.
But when she searched for new, interesting things to keep her patients’ minds off of the task at hand, she came up empty-handed.
That’s where Smilescapes was born.
Shangle, of Burr Ridge, developed a series of 12 hidden-object posters that offer patients of every age a welcome distraction. Posters are sold in sets of four.
As they lie in the dentist’s chair, patients can find the toothbrush hidden in the mountains or a tube of toothpaste tucked amidst the architecture of the Eiffel tower. Other dental devices and tooth-related tools are hidden in posters of famous European landmarks, landscapes and famous American cities.
Shangle was the first to use the posters back in 2007.
“I would actually see patients unclench,” Shangle said.
Today, they’re in use in more than 450 dental offices in the United States and Canada, and available through her website, smilescapesusa.com.
Shangle’s 18-by-24-inch posters have hung on the walls and ceilings at Heidi Novak’s dental office in Indian Head Park for nearly two years.
“It kind of distracts them from what is going on in their mouth,” office manager Karen Lara said.
Two hang on the ceiling above each chair and another hangs on the wall of each treatment room, as well as in the checkout area of the office.
“They’re actually pretty posters,” Lara said.
At first, patients often assume they’re just that, but soon discover they’re much more than art.
This is the first entrepreneurial venture for Shangle, who no longer practices in the dental field. With a patent pending on her Smilescapes products, she hopes her first three collections will be the first of many.
She said the first customers are ready for a change of scenery on their office walls and ceilings, and she’s happy to give them what they need.