THERE’S A new dentist in town, Dr Stephen Zanon, and he’s ready to help bring a smile to your dial at Smile Street Dental Practice Murwillumbah and Coolangatta.
While going to the dentist can be a traumatic experience for some people, Dr Zanon’s dental visits as a child were happy experiences and he’s now hoping to show others it’s possible to love your dentist.
“I always enjoyed going to the dentist, as funny as that sounds,” Dr Zanon laughed.
“My dentist was really good, and I remember I got lots of stickers and encouragement, so it wasn’t a scary place for me.”
Dr Zanon, who has just moved to the area with his fiancé, said he is now trying to pass on this love of the dentist to his patients, especially those who may find dental visits daunting.
“Everyone has got a bit of dental anxiety and that’s completely normal, but it’s still always good to come in and get everything checked as we’re really not that bad,” he laughed.
“We want everyone to have a good experience in the chair and even just talking can help.
“Dentistry can feel invasive and it’s hard for patients to see what’s actually happening, but most people calm down if they know what you are doing and what step you are up to.”
Dr Zanon said there can also be a feeling of being out-of-control and that dentists can help by giving patients a say in what is happening during procedures.
“It is important to give patients back some control, so we will say things like, ‘if you need a break just raise your left hand’.”
Distraction can also be helpful in relieving anxiety especially for children, according to Dr Zanon.
“Patients, especially little ones, are much happier if you distract them,” he said.
“We use things like music, or YouTube and Netflix. In the last week I’ve had four kids who like the slime videos on YouTube so that’s quite popular.”
Mr Zanon said he enjoyed his profession because he can literally see that he is making a difference to people’s lives.
“When you’re a dentist your work is something tangible and you get an end result,” he said.
“Every day is different, but I particularly like giving people back their smile, particularly if it involves their front teeth.”
While most patients are grateful when their smile is improved, Dr Zanon said that not everyone will tell him in so many words.
“It’s always good when someone gives you a good reaction, but a lot of the male patients don’t really say much or they will say things like ‘I don’t really care much about how I look’,” he said.
“But when I’m done they will sometimes give me a thank you wink when they walk out to say ‘it looks good’ and then I know I’ve done a good job,” he said.
Dr Stephen Zanon joins the dedicated team at Murwillumbah Smile Street (2/232 Tweed Valley Way, South Murwillumbah) and Coolangatta Smile Street (The Strand Shopping Centre Shop 123, 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta).
To book an appointment visit one of the sites or phone: (02) 8014 8686.