Skip to main content

Today's Family Magazine

Dr. Trista brings more smiles to expanded practice

Oct 17, 2016 11:14AM ● By Today's Family
By Mary Flenner

After 17 years of working in dentistry, Dr. Trista Onesti is expanding her practice into a larger space in Lyndhurst, offering a fun and comforting environment for kids.  The new office is located in a newly renovated building at 5255 Mayfield Road.

"We wanted it to be fun for kids without being overstimulating or intimidating," Dr. Trista explains.

Dr. Trista was previously in a shared office space on Richmond Road and has moved to accommodate her growing client base, offering expanded hours to meet patients’ needs.  The unique, new space was originally a home and has been transformed into a bright, cheery environment with a beach retreat feel. The new office also boasts the latest technology and equipment.

"The office design is really kid-friendly and I surround myself with staff who are educated on and comfortable around kids.  We do a lot to make the kids feel comfortable.  We'll tell stories, sing songs, whatever we can do to relate to them.  We're also trained in behavioral management techniques.  I go through training and then I pass it along to my staff."

"We have TVs and games for them to play, we try to make it seem like it's not a medical setting.  We want kids to leave thinking, 'I want to come back,' and fortunately, that's usually the reaction we get," says Dr. Trista.

Dr. Trista had been working as a dentist for years before she became focused specifically on pediatric dentistry in 2013.  "People saw it in me before I saw it in me.  My colleague at the time said he needed someone like me to be his associate.  Someone who could work well with kids.  So at that time, I was working with kids as a general dentist."

After a few years of treating kids as a general dentist, Dr. Trista decided to complete her specialization as a pediatric dentist.  She completed a two-year pediatric dental residency at Rainbow Babies and Children's/Case School of Dental Medicine, which gave her greater insight into children's dental care.

"I didn't know how much I didn't know.  There is a big difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist.  Someone who isn't trained in pediatric dentistry doesn't know all the things to look for with children's teeth," she says of continuing her education.

Dr. Trista sees children of all ages and recommends children come in as soon as their first teeth emerge or by their first birthday.

"Tartar can build up on an infant's teeth.  Some even have cavities.  The surface of teeth can come in with issues.  There's a lot that we look for.  For younger kids, we simply look over the teeth to see if we're where we need to be at and if there are any issues.  Then if a cleaning is necessary we do that as well."

The visit is partly prevention, partly diagnosis, and just like annual well visits with the doctor, pediatric dental visits are essential in detecting issues early on.  For example, a cross-bite can affect the way a child's face grows, so early prevention is extremely important.

"I've been practicing for 17 years, but now we're seeing tooth decay like never before."  Culprits include juice, chocolate milk and other sugared beverages, fruit snacks, and even Goldfish crackers—anything that sits in the grooves of their teeth for long periods of time can start to soften their enamel."

Dealing with kids comes naturally to Dr. Trista because she's a mom herself.  "I've seen firsthand what to anticipate, how they react after a visit, and I know the phases that kids go through."

It's not just her patients who love her.  In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Dr. Trista was voted by her peers as a Top Dentist as referenced in Cleveland Magazine.

She's also a part of some impressive organizations.  Currently, Dr. Trista is the pediatric dentist for the Cleveland Clinic, Department of Plastic Surgery, Craniofacial Team. She also spends time as an attending doctor at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Youngstown where she teaches dental residents the latest techniques in the care of children.  Dr. Trista is also a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at CWRU.  

Call 440-459-2100 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Trista or for more information and dental care tips, visit