New pediatric dentist is ‘open wide’ in Sonoma

The staff of Sonoma Pediatric Dentistry: Becky Garcia, Dr. Lynn Hsia, Jenna Boules, Sandra Mehrens

When she opened her Sonoma Pediatric Dentistry office, Lynn Hsia DDS made sure all the equipment was state-of-the-art — the digital X-ray machine, the computer system for paperless records, the software and monitors to improve individual diagnosis.

Equally important was creating a friendly, welcoming environment to put young patients at ease. That’s why the staff includes Mr. Thirsty, the water vacuum made up to look like a cartoon character.

A child scared to go to the dentist may be picking up that behavior from parents, Hsia said. “Fear of the dentist is a learned behavior, so we try to make it fun,” he said. “If kids have had a bad experience in the past, we really work on changing that attitude.”

The bright colors, the kid-scaled chairs and the absence of the old bulky equipment help make kids (and parents) comfortable. So does the big smile on the doctor’s face. While completing her residency in New York, Hsia was nicknamed “Sunshine” for her bright personality.

Overall, the equipment is less bulky, the rooms are bright and airy, and the x-ray procedure is far less intrusive. “It’s friendlier for the kids,” said Hsia who has over 10 years experience as a Specialist Pediatric Dentist.

It’s better for the staff, as well. “It’s basically paperless. Images are sent right to the computer. There’s no film development.” The images – which then can be manipulated three-dimensionally on the screen — become part of the patient’s history. “It’s a one-stop reference,” Hsia said. “We see the health history in an instant.”

The imaging system is precise enough to model crowns without creating a mold.

Innovation is great, but prevention is better. A habit of brushing and flossing is vital, and Hsia’s staff incorporates an educational element into the routine of regular check-ups. “It’s important to have a good home regimen.”

If she finds cavities, Hsia always looks to see if there is an underlying cause. A bad diet, lack of sleep, stress – many factors can contribute to cavities.  She believes a dental check-up is part of an overall health screening.

Hsia earned her DDS degree at the highly acclaimed UOP, Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco.  She then spent two years in New York completing a challenging Pediatric Dental Residency at St. Barnabas Hospital.  It was there that her upbeat attitude earned he the she nicknames,” Sunshine” and “Happy Happy Doc” because of her upbeat attitude.

Now, she’s positive about Sonoma. “We’re looking forward to becoming part of the community.”

Sonoma Pediatric Dentistry is located at 248 Perkins St. in Sonoma. For more information contact 938-7660 or

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