What Our Patients Say
After 12 years of avoiding Dentists and a severely infected tooth I had to go to a Dentist. I knew there was more than just that tooth wrong and I was terrified to the point of being ill. When my husband found out he called and set up everything for that first appointment.
I noticed the difference right when I walked in, it didn't smell like a dentist office and everyone in the waiting room seemed relaxed. The staff made me feel comfortable right away, and not like I was being judged on my smile. My first sedation appointment was spectacular! I only remember bits and pieces of that entire day. Most importantly, I was able to actually smile for pictures over the holidays!
The only disappointing thing was that I didn't do this sooner. Since that day I have been singing praises for Dr. Woods and her staff. I will never miss another dentist appointment again!
This past December of 2007, I experienced my first appointment with Dr. Wood and conscious sedation.
On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the most uncomfortable in a dental chair, I was a ten plus. This will give you some idea of the level of my phobia.
I was totally awake the whole time. However, all the anxiety that I had experienced in the past was gone. During and afterwards there was absolutely no pain.
Whatever your fear of the dentist might be, I would highly recommend conscious sedation.
Go for it. You will be glad you did.
Dear Dr. Wood & Staff:
I want to thank you so very much for the care, you and your staff gave me and my family.
The staff explained every step before and after. Your call that evening of the sedation surgery was very considerate, not many doctors or dentists call after.
They explained things to my husband, so he was prepared, too. I did not feel any pain, it was less painful than any time I’ve ever had teeth pulled before.
Your consideration is so very grateful to our family. We would recommend your office to everyone who would need dental work. You worked with us financially also.
Dear Dr. Wood and staff of super stars,
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank-you and your staff for taking a stressful and frightening experience and making it a very relaxing and stress-free day. In the past I have experienced very traumatic situations with other dentists. This resulted in my not wanting or willingness to visit the dentist.
You and your trained staff of professionals have regained my confidence and upmost trust in this whole pain-free process. You and your staff made me feel like I was surrounded by family or friends that I have known for years. With this regained new confidence, I can smile, and chew with great ease.
I cannot begin to thank all of you enough at Dr. Wood’s office for being so comforting and sympathetic to my delicate situation and needs. It is not only an honor, but a privilege to have finally found such a caring, and warmhearted dentist and staff.
You all are the true meaning of professionalism. I would highly recommend your office to anyone with dental needs.
Past dental appointments are not fond memories for me. Being a middle aged woman with a busy family and a career, I found that ignoring dental concerns was my method of dealing with the past. Due to those bad choices I found myself exhibiting pain in certain areas of my mouth. Hence the pain would not go away and I was then referred to Grand Haven Dental through a working colleague. I have appreciated the help that I received throughout the past 3 years by this caring dental practice. I have found that by utilizing the modern dental procedures that they have to offer such as sedation during my dental appointments has left me feeling not only pain free but less anxious throughout the dental work procedures. I can thus leave the dental office feeling calm and then return back to my normal life as a mom/wife in the home and a teacher in the classroom.
Ms. Lois Haglund, Manager
American Dental Association
Council on Dental Education & Licensure
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
I am writing regarding the upcoming ADA Anesthesia Committee meeting to limit sedation dentistry. I would like to express my total support for sedation dentistry.
In 1978 while serving in the United States Army, Augsburg West Germany, I was involved in a serious automobile accident in which two of six persons were killed. Among several other injuries I sustained I also fractured my jaw in two places. I underwent several months of dental work, which was very painful and to this day is still very vivid in my mind. Even after all this time I have been very nervous having any type of dental work completed.
In 2002, responding to a radio advertisement, I decided to investigate sedation dentistry with Dr. Leatha Wood in Grand Haven, Michigan. She and her extremely professional and friendly staff changed my life and opinion of dentistry. I no longer get stressed or panic when entering her office. I have had sedation dentistry performed with no negative results and have recovered and felt great following the procedure.
Technology moves on and so should advancements in health care. I can see no reason to limit advancements in dentistry and the ability for patients to make informed decisions regarding their care and medical procedures with their doctor.
In closing, I would urge you to support sedation dentistry for those who qualify and choose this type of procedure.
Thank you for your consideration.
Dr. Leatha Wood D.D.S. & Staff:
I would like to take a moment to thank you for your kindness and support. As you know I had a serious problem with going to the dentist, with the many terrible past experiences I put off going until something serious happened. I was one of those people that had very bad anxiety attacks just thinking about a dentist As was the case this time.
I located Dr. Wood in the phone book and the ad told about a sedation therapy for people that were frightened or unable to numb and other problems. I contacted the office to make an appointment. The staff was so nice and caring, they made me feel comfortable and everything was explained before it was done. I needed some major work done and with my background Dr. Wood suggested Sedation Therapy.
This was the best thing that I could have done. I was given 2 pills to take 1 hour before my scheduled appointment, which made me relax. When I arrived at the office I was taken into a quiet room and given 2 more pills.
I was totally relaxed and without anxiety. I don't remember anything of the procedure although I could hear talking, there was no pain. I came home and slept most of the afternoon and evening. The next day there was no after effects of the sedation and I myself did not have any pain with what they did. From now on the sedation therapy is the only choice I will make. What a wonderful thing. Thank you to Dr. Wood and Staff you are the best.
When I heard Dr. Woods utter the words “you have periodontal disease” I paniked. PERIODONTAL DISEASE oh no. Pain, blood, PAIN. My life was over. But no, it was pleasant. I arrived at 7:20 am (that was the worst part) and the next thing I knew it was two pm and I was home in my own little bed. The pain was non existent thanks to two Tylenol and two ibupropen. There was no blood either. In fact I was even able to float in my pool later in the evening (properly supervised by my husband). It was almost fun and I got ice cream as well just like when I was a kid. I would do it again if I had to, but I won’t as I have become obsessive about flossing. Anyway, fear not and dive right in.
Dear Dr. Wood, October 29, 2003
I just wanted to thank you and let you know how much the use of sedation dentistry helped me. Before I came to you, my mouth was a mess. I was self-conscious about my smile and hardly knew where to chew. As a 44 year old woman it is embarrassing to be afraid of the dentist. With fear and trepidation I came to your office. Immediately you and your staff made me feel at ease. Not once did I feel belittled or embarrassed because of my fears. You told me that you were so glad that I found your office and that you could help me through this, and you did. The day of my appointment I simply took a pill before someone drove me to your office. I would be relaxed by the time I arrived. I would sit (recline) in the dental chair with my shoes off and a blanket wrapped around me and I would drift off to sleep. The next clear thing I usually remembered was waking up at home. It was awesome! I no longer had to dread going to the dentist. You truly have changed my life. I can now look people in the eye without thinking that they are staring at my teeth. It feels good to smile again. Sedation dentistry was truly the answer for me. Thank you.
Dear Dr. Wood,
There are no words to accurately describe what you, your staff and sedation dentistry has done for me. Honestly. I have a new life! I am a new me!
My teeth were absolutely horrible and I was so embarrassed and ashamed to go to any dentist, so I didn't. I was scared to death; in fact I would have rather died than go to a dentist! I eventually became very withdrawn. I felt that I was an embarrassment to my family, friends and co-workers. I often wished that I could go to sleep and wake up with perfect teeth. Lo and behold, I saw your commercial on TV and that is exactly what happened! Sedation dentistry was the perfect solution!
The initial phone call to your office was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. Laurie was absolutely wonderful!!! She seemed to understand everything that I was going through and knew exactly how hard that call was for me to make.
I was petrified when Jim and I came in for the first consultation. I was afraid that I would see shock and horror on everyone's faces. What I found instead was incredible compassion and support from everyone in the office. You were very patient and explained exactly what was involved in every step of the procedure that we had agreed to do. I amazed everyone in my office when I had 14 teeth extracted one day and was at work the next day. I had absolutely no pain or swelling from that time or the next when I had the rest of my teeth extracted. Jim and I were very impressed that you personally called to check on me each time I was sedated, and someone from your staff called on the next to check on me. I have never seen such concern from any doctor or dentist office.
Thanks to you, I feel like a great burden has been lifted from me. That black cloud is no longer hanging over my head. I can enjoy my life again. I can do things that I never would have done before. There is a whole new world opened to me now.
Testimonial Part 1
I'd like to share with you my story and experience at Grand Haven Dental Care. I've been seeing Dr. Wood and her staff for about a year now and I will share with you my experience with them shortly, but I need to share my dental history first, so you can truly get an understanding of what I went through, prior to seeing Dr. Wood and her wonderful staff.
When I was seventeen years of age, my dentist at the time sent me to an oral surgeon to have my wisdom teeth removed. At the time, my father was dying of cancer and my mother was working to pay the bills. One of Dad's Hospice workers took me to the appointment because I needed somebody to drive me home after the surgery as I was to be sedated using an IV.
The oral surgeon gave me an IV and put me to sleep. I slept for an unknown period, but I woke up during the extraction and to this day, I can still visualize and feel him utilizing what I thought were pliers to "crush" my teeth in order to remove them. The pain was unbelievable but the surgeon told me to "shut up, it doesn't hurt." I was literally coming out of the chair because of the excruciating pain. I was screaming so loud that the Hospice worker waiting for me in the lobby heard me but didn't know what to do. The procedure finally ended and I was sent home. It was the worst experience I’ve ever had related to a dental procedure. This issue has haunted me for twenty-six years. I went back to my regular dentist a couple more times, but each time he mentioned the fact that I needed to schedule an appointment for a filling, my anxiety level was so high, I finally just stopped going.
After marrying my lovely wife Leslie at the age of twenty-two, she convinced me to go to her dentist. I went, and he was a nice dentist but each time he told me I needed a filling or some other type of procedure. I simply couldn't bring myself to go. I could not get over the anxiety from years previous. I eventually stopped going to this dentist and any others at around 25–30 years of age and never returned to another dentist until finally getting the "guts" to make an appointment at Grand Haven Dental Care and this was only after part of one of my teeth broke off. I knew I had some serious problems and I couldn't put it off any longer. I remembered seeing Dr. Wood's ad in the newspaper or an advertising flyer stating, "Pain free dentistry." It also stated something to the effect that you could be sedated with a simple pill and you most likely would not remember the treatment. I was of course skeptical and wondered if I could trust this information. I finally was able to get the courage up to contact their office and make an appointment. I am certainly glad I did, because I've never had such a positive dental treatment experience in my life. Let me share with you some of what I've experienced over the last year under the care of Grand Haven Dental Care and Dr. Wood.
Testimonial Part 2
Even before meeting the doctor, I was greeted by her wonderful office staff. They were polite, caring, and extremely fun to talk to. I completed the initial forms and then met with Dr. Wood. What a caring, compassionate and friendly doctor. We hit it off immediately. She noticed that the nickname I put down on my form was listed as “trouble," and I also noted on the form that I was pregnant. She noticed both and gave a comical response. I told her that I just wanted to make sure she had read what I had written which made me feel more comfortable. She was so nice, kidded around, but was also professional and up front about the issues I was facing with my broken tooth. She explained the procedure in a gentle and friendly manner but didn't even mention the other dental work needed. I think she wanted to take it one step at a time. When I left, I felt fairly comfortable with Dr. Wood and her staff. Being a police officer, I can usually read people fairly well and in this case, I felt pretty good about them.
I can't remember every detail of the past year regarding my experiences with Dr. Wood, and her awesome staff, but I can certainly any that I am no longer anxious when I go to the dentist. I know they spoil me and make me laugh, but it certainly keeps me coming back for my required treatment. I went through a tooth extraction, the replacement of nearly all of my old fillings, and an implant with "flying colors." I had sedation twice and it was the best sleep I've ever had (I probably snored though—sorry). I wouldn’t go anywhere else for my dentistry treatment because of the caring treatment I've received at Grand Haven Dental Care. I can't thank them enough for getting me through it. In fact, it was a "riot." Now, how many dentists have their patients say that?
Since sharing my stories with my wife Leslie, she since has started seeing Dr. Wood. Shortly thereafter, our fifteen year old son also started going to Grand Haven Dental Care. They really enjoyed the experience and now know what they've been missing.
May God bless each and every one of you at Grand Haven Dental Care. Without you, my teeth would never have looked as good as they do today. And we had fun doing it! I just want to tell you Dr. Wood, that you will be the first one to get a photograph of me smiling, but this time, my mouth will be open and you'll be able to see my teeth instead of being embarrassed to show them.
Dr. Leatha Woodt
Sedation dental appointments have been a very positive thing for me. I was getting sick every time I went to the dentist even for routine cleaning. I had trouble with x-rays and impressions being taken. Dental work like crowns and fillings was very hard to get through.
I have asthma and a bad gag reflex. I reached a point where I could not face dental appointments so I stopped trying. My teeth were chipping and I lost several teeth but I was still so anxious about dental work that I put off making an appointment.
I learned of sedation dentistry and have had many appointments using this method. I have not had any trouble with the medicines used and believe this option has saved my teeth.
Before I had the needed dental work relatives asked why I did not get the work done. I did not like to talk as I knew my teeth looked bad. Being able to have the dental work done has helped me feel more confident about my appearance.
After successfully(?) avoiding dental care for some 20+ years, I encountered some acute pain that brought me both to my knees and to the office chair of Dr. Leatha Wood. Recalling the pain of childhood dentistry (no anesthesia, shots or gas) and the ensuing tears, the last place I wanted to visit was a dentist's office.
I thought I had endured enough pain and humiliation to last me a lifetime. With a mouthful of oversized silver fillings and gums than would bleed at just the slightest touch of the toothbrush bristle, I had no desire to take care of my dental health or seek help.
And then the teeth began to talk to me after some 20 years hiding from the dentist. I must admit, however, that I had paid a sporadic visit over the years to various dentists to remove teeth (yes, I said remove teeth) that were giving me pain. The pain, as you know, was something I could no longer bear or tolerate and I realized that I couldn't afford to remove any more teeth from my somewhat bare gums.
And then . . . my wife introduced me to her dental team at Grand Haven Dental Care. Though nervous and dreadful of visiting their office, the pain in my mouth was too great to avoid some care of some type. Though embarrassed about my dental history and bleeding gums, I found myself relaxed and encouraged by the staff. After all, today is the first day of the rest of my life and I decided that I wanted my children and grandchildren, someday, to see me with a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums.
I jumped at the opportunity to be "put under" while the work was being done in my mouth. Dr. Wood had earlier detailed her plan to restore my teeth and gums and I was prepared for the journey. I don't recall being "put under.” I just remember the sensation of waking up to a quiet room with all the work already done.
Now I can, once again, enjoy the crispier, crunchier foods without cringing or chewing on only one side of my mouth. No longer do my gums bleed while I brush. I feel better about myself and this confidence restores my self-esteem, equipping me to be a better person.
My only regret: that I had not known Dr. Wood and the staff earlier. I could have saved some teeth, avoided some pain, and been spared the humiliation and embarrassment that accompanies poor dental care and practice.
I wish to thank Grand Haven Dental Care for the education, tenderness, professionalism, and encouragement, while preserving my dignity, that has allowed me to smile once again!!
Dear Dr. Wood and Staff,
Just a note to let you know how grateful I am for all your caring service.
After years of dragging myself to the dentist once a year (not the twice that they recommended), I found myself no longer able to force myself to go.
After I reached 40’s my dentist informed me that as a result of over brushing and (age) my gums were beginning to recede and I could expect that this would continue causing my teeth to become more sensitive with time.
I was crushed by this as I had thought I had taken good care of my teeth all these years. I continued to make appointments but found myself cancelling one after another. Finally in desperation I found the ad in the phone book for your office.
I cannot express my gratitude and satisfaction with your services. Your staff is wonderful and by the time I reached my sedation appointment I was not even nervous. The experience was unbelievable. I heard the noise of the drill and much to my surprise I did not run. I had a full day of work and was pain free! My teeth and jaw used to ache for 3 days after just a cleaning.
I am also grateful for your preventive approach. I do not want the experience of a tooth ache or a root canal if it can be avoided.
You and your staff were professional yet personal making me feel like a friend not a patient. I cannot thank you enough.
Thanks to you all I will be smiling for many years to come.
Dear Dr. Wood and Staff,
I am so glad I found you! After years of bad experiences in other dental offices, I finally have found a dentist (and your staff) who makes the entire dental experience a positive one. From my first phone call to your office, I have felt welcomed and comfortable.
I recently had my very first sedation appointment. It truly made a huge difference in my experience. I slept through most of the procedure, but do remember Dr. Wood and her staff speaking to me and telling me things like "open wider" and "bite down." I felt no pain, no discomfort and best of all, no fear!
I woke up and was fairly alert on the ride home with my friend. Once I arrived home, I slept for a few hours. After that nice nap, I was able to greet my children as they came home from school, make dinner and function as I normally do on any given day.
Being sedated during my appointment was definitely the right choice for me. It erased my fears completely. Now, I won't cringe and feel sick to my stomach if I need a crown, a root canal or any other big procedure done. I say, BRING IT ON!
Dear Dr. Wood & all staff (I promise to learn your names as I de-stress)
First of all, I want to tell you that the fact that I am writing this is a complete shock to me. I’ve had several opportunities in my adult life to write thank yous to health-care professionals dealing with myself & my children but this is an entirely different type of note: a thank-you to dental-care providers. Maybe if you’d have had some of the experiences I’ve had you’d know why, anyway, this is a letter I NEVER expected to write.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of working 3rd shift I didn’t dare take anything before my appointment today. I came in a nervous wreck with no chemical back up and expected to have to be peeled off the ceiling before I was finished. If today is any indication, I expect to finally be able to brave twice-yearly check ups once my oral health problems are under control.
I felt immediately at ease from the time I was greeted in the waiting area & throughout the procedures. I really don’t understand how you did it but I wanted you to know just how much I really do appreciate all of you.
I also felt free to discuss my problems without feeling that you were judging me. Dentistry had traumatized me for years and then all of a sudden, I had a great experience today. I’m still shocked by it.
Dr. Wood, thank you for taking as much time as you did getting to know a little about me before the exam. I can’t believe that an extra (Can’t read this) much—are you sure you didn’t hypnotize me on the sly? (ha, ha!) I told you the truth about pre-payment so I wouldn’t chicken out. Although I’m planning to continue pre-payment to make my budget run smoother, I don’t really think that I need to do so any more as a ploy to “make me” keep my appointment.
Amazingly, I feel 1000% better about getting the dental care that I’m painfully aware that I need. Whatever you did, keep on doing it . . . it works!
I appreciate all the staff greeting me, introduce themselves, explaining before doing, & asking me at intervals how it’s going. It really meant a lot to me. Thanks so very much.
I'd like to share the positive experience I recently had with Dr. Wood & her staff at Grand Haven Dental Care.
I've been terrified of the dentist ever since I can remember. The first experience I remember was when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My adult teeth were coming in faster than my baby teeth were falling out. Several teeth had to be pulled to make room, and the dentist I went to didn't specialize in children's dentistry, in fact he shouldn't even have had a license in my opinion. I wasn't numbed in any way, I wasn't given any pain killers, he just started yanking. My mom says never forget me screaming, she could hear me from the waiting room. They wouldn't let her come back with me, this was 1976 and times were very different then. That started a life-long fear that I just can't get over, and I'm now 37 years old. I also had a horrible experience with my wisdom teeth when I was 16. All four of them had to be cut out, none were through my gums, and I was awake for the whole experience. The top two slid right out, but the bottom two had to be broken into four pieces and dug out. I was given the nitrous oxide gas, but I still remember, quite vividly, the whole thing. Needless to say, when I became an adult, I didn't go to the dentist until there was a problem. My fear kept me from getting the preventative maintenance needed to avoid major problems. Then I found Dr. Wood.
I knew I had extensive work that needed to be done, but when the pain in my broken tooth got so bad that I was unable to sit still, I knew it was time to do something about it. It took me over an hour to get up the nerve to pick up the phone and dial her number, I found her in the phone book when I was looking for a dentist that would sedate me. I called and talked to Lorie, trying to explain to her that I was extremely afraid. The whole time, I was shaking so hard and crying just talking about trying to make an appointment. To my surprise, she seemed to understand. Other dentists I'd been to over the years had always said to "get over it” and "grow up" when I tried to explain my fear to them. Lorie didn't make fun of me, or tell me to stop being so scared, she said she understood and that there are a lot more people out there that are as scared as me than I even knew about. For once, I didn't feel ashamed of my fear, but almost ready to face it. I figured if I could get the dental work done that I needed, without fear, pain or embarrassment, maybe I'd finally be able to face it and try to overcome it.
My first sedation appointment was on 2-19-08. I had to have several things done: an extraction (or having a tooth "wiggled” out as Dr. Wood likes to say!), a few fillings, an above the gumline cleaning and full x-rays. I was nervous, but also ready to finally be rid of the pain in my mouth, this had been going on for years, literally. I was given a small pill to take one hour prior to my early morning appointment, so that I wouldn't be so nervous on the drive from my house in Holland to Grand Haven. By the time I got to Dr. Wood's office, I was feeling great. I felt like I'd had just a little too much to drink! I entered the office and they took me back right away, and tucked me into bed. I was given the nitrous oxide gas then. What I was very impressed with was that they treated me like I wouldn't be sedated. That meant a lot to me, for I knew that she'd take care of me the way a dental patient should be taken care of. I dozed off then, and the next thing I remember is Dr. Wood telling me what a great vein I had in my arm for the IV. I opened my eyes long enough to look at her, closed them again, and was asleep, but conscious, for the duration. I remember bits and pieces: such as being told to open my mouth a little wider, to bite down when they were fitting the fillings, etc. I have NO UNPLEASANT MEMORIES WHATSOEVER of the day! For the first time in my life, I feel comfortable getting the dental work done that is needed. I would recommend Dr. Wood and her wonderful staff to anyone, they are all such caring, professional, very special people who really care attest their patients. I remember very little about the drive home, my mom was with me the whole day and spent the night with me.I dozed off and on the rest of the afternoon, and was very comfortable that night. I didn't have any pain, and was even able to eat soup for supper. I woke up the next day and felt like I hadn't even been in the dentist the day before. I was just a little loopy the next day, kind of a "medicine-head" feeling from the sedation, and just stayed home and rested.
I’m so happy with the positive experience I had at Grand Haven Dental, and wouldn’t go to anyone else . . . Dr. Wood is truly wonderful!
Most people don't send thank you notes to their dentist. I never have until now. You staff is such a congenial, fun loving and talented group. Keep up the good work! Thanks, too, for the fast repair work you did for me it feels great.
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Grand Haven Dental Care, 17064 Robbins Road, Grand Haven, Michigan 49417 - (616) 604-4003
Dr. Leatha J Wood