Many people have reservations about going to the dentist. Whether it’s a paralyzing fear of needles or the bill that comes afterward, Dr. Neni Shriver D.D.S. has heard it all.
Dr. Shriver has run her patient-centered cosmetic and family dentistry office since 2012, helping with everything from crowns and bridges to veneers and laminates to how to get rid of bad breath. She said she understands why people don’t always enjoy visiting her office and hopes her transparency with patients puts them at ease.
“They’re always afraid of pain,” she said. “I do my best to be very gentle, but for some people, it’s already so ingrained in their minds that even the slightest touch will create an excruciating pain emotionally for them.
Some of my patients ask for laughing gas for just a cleaning. At first, I refused because I thought they were just asking for fun, but it was because they were scared. So I bent my rule a little bit, and I gave it to them.”
Beyond making patients comfortable in the chair, Dr. Shriver tries to keep the lines of communication open even after they leave the office. She said she always encourages people not to wait until their next appointment to ask questions. They can just text her.
“When I know a patient is anxious, I call them to see how they’re doing and I give them my phone number so they can text me," she said. "I want to be sure that they’re well taken care of.”
Even though she likes helping her patients with things like "finding the joy of eating again” after severe tooth pain she never thought she would be a dentist. After graduating from dental school in Indonesia in 1994, Dr. Shriver said she came to America to get married and have kids. She did that and then realized that she shouldn’t let her education and her license go to waste.
“I was never really into dentistry,” she said. “But I found some areas now I really enjoy, like surgery.”
Dr. Shriver says she also makes an effort to continue her education and skills so she can offer more services to the community.
“I used to work for big corporations with like 10 chairs, everything moving really fast,” she said. “I’m getting old for that, and that’s why I started my own practice, so I can make it personal."
For more information about Dr. Shriver and her practice, visit drshriverslajollasmilecenter.com or visit her office at 7817 Ivanhoe Ave., Suite 304 in La Jolla.