Sea of Smiles is a dentist’s office kids love to visit

Dr. John Gennantonio, left, and marketing coordinator Heather Voit pose for a picture with Claire Plunkett, 3, at the recent Sea of Smiles open house.
A trip to the dentist’s office is usually something that children dread, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, located at 1319 Nagel Road, is a dentist’s office that children actually enjoy visiting.

At Sea of Smiles, the patient’s comfort is a top priority.

“We try really hard to make kids feel welcome,” Dr. John Gennantonio said. “A lot of thought goes into everything we’ve done, down to the colors we’ve chosen, to make a nice, calming environment.”

Kids know they are in a fun place as soon as they walk into the lobby, which is decorated with a sea theme. The reception desk resembles a sailing ship, fish hang from the ceiling, and a coral reef wraps around the waiting area.

The treatment rooms are painted with themes to appeal to children. There is a flower room for the girls, and a racing car themed room for the boys. All of the rooms have televisions to occupy patients while the dentist works on their teeth.

Dr. Gennantonio said that at his previous practice, he had a room painted with paint that glowed under black light. He discovered that this room was a favorite with patients who were apprehensive and those that had sensory issues, and he has used the same concept at this office.

“When we built this building I decided to put two glow in the dark rooms,” Dr. Gennantonio said. “My kids with sensory issues just love those rooms.”

Dr. Gennantonio said that when he began his career, he didn’t realize how big a role entertaining his patients would play in his practice.

“I didn’t realize I was going to be the entertainer when I went into dentistry, but most of the kids are happy to watch sports center or Sponge Bob or Scooby Doo while I work on their teeth,” he said. “It really does help to allay their fears and anxiety so that an hour in the chair feels like 15 minutes so they don’t get the squirmy wormies while I’m working on their teeth.”

Sea of Smiles also employs a pediatric anesthesiologist, which makes it possible to take care of patients who need lots of work in one trip to the office.

“It really decreases the dental cost because patients don’t have to have multiple appointments,” Dr. Gennantonio said. “We can do all the work at once, and we can do it at one tenth of the cost of treatment at the hospital.”

For more information, visit Sea of Smiles online at or call (513) 474-0183.