Howard
Since I was a small boy I loathed and feared visiting the dentist. In all honesty there never was a particular incident that triggered this. I just hated the whole experience. The sitting in the waiting room with nervous patients spreading panic like an infectious disease. The smells, the sensations. Everything about it cast a shadow over many visits as a child. As I passed into adulthood I simply stopped going. Beyond the reach of parental control I simply chose to avoid the whole thing. As the years passed I developed almost a phobia about it. I knew I needed to go but found every excuse in the book not to. By my late 30’s the fear was supplanted by embarrassment and then as time marched on by the cold reality of the cost of what treatment might be required after neglecting professional checks and care for so many years. I looked after my teeth as far as I was concerned but there were problems I was aware of. As I was not in pain I procrastinated. So here I was, riding my luck, 32 years since my last dental visit and happily eating a ham salad sandwich for lunch at work. Then crack. A sickening crack and then the feel of something hard in the mass of sandwich in my mouth. A big corner of one of my lower molars had broken off. I felt physically sick, principally because in that moment I was hit by the reality that I would now need professional help. I was an awful time. I was paranoid about eating, terrified of another dental catastrophe and devoid of confidence consigned myself to soup and soft foods. I was in a quandary. Obviously I had no relationship with any dentist. I really didn’t know where to turn. Out of embarrassment I couldn’t speak to my wife about it. So I did a secret google search for dentists who treat patients’ with dental phobias in Newcastle. A link to a news story led me to a picture of Rob and his team. He had, I thought, a nice face. The Dovetail website was particularly helpful and answered many questions. I was at a crossroads. I was not in pain but the likelihood was that I would be at some point. Almost in a trance I sent an enquiry e-mail and was in a cold sweat even at the thought of a visit as I pressed the send button. Dovetail I received a lovely reply from Allanah, one of Rob’s team. She was very understanding and sympathetic. We subsequently chatted on the phone as a first step and I was invited in to see Rob for an initial consultation. She addressed all my fears and assured me that I was in good hands. I was naturally nervous prior to the initial consultation and stepping through the door was an ordeal mentally. However the welcome I received from the lovely Allanah soon helped me relax. It was informal and not at all stressful. No waiting room ordeal, rather a chat in a seating area well away from any vicious looking dental implements where we discussed the issues that had brought me there, my fears and how they had developed, background health and many other issues. Rob joined us after that chat and his easy manner and relaxed approach made me feel confident I had chosen the right practice. It helped that this first conversation was held away from the chair. The examination followed. Rob was gentle and explained what he was doing. There was no discomfort at all. Rob explained that obviously there was treatment required but that it wasn’t at all as bad as I had thought it might be. (I had convinced myself I would need all my teeth extracting). A full assessment would be the next step where a very thorough dental examination would take place including mouth cancer check, ex-rays etc. This would allow a proposed treatment plan to be constructed with the various options on the table for mutual discussion. I was a bit stressed when I returned for the full examination. It certainly was the most thorough dental check I’ve ever had but Rob and Allanah were at all times sympathetic and responsive to my fears and it was fine. I even had a detailed instruction as to how to use a toothbrush to best effect. I received a full report with photos as follow up. This explained everything – I needed an extraction which I didn’t relish the thought of and some of my old fillings needed replacing. It was time to set a date for the treatment. Bizarrely I was almost looking forward to it. I so wanted to regain my confidence and felt utter trust that Rob would look after me. I opted to have everything done in one afternoon rather than spin the treatment out. I also I must admit opted for the sedation option. I felt guilty in a sense for being such a coward but it made the thought of the whole experience that lay ahead so much more bearable. The treatment day was almost an anti-climax. I’d built the thought of the whole thing up in my head so much and it was a totally relaxed afternoon. I believe I fell asleep at one point. Rob’s patience and empathy at the start of the afternoon was wonderful and really appreciated. There was no rush at all and I felt totally under control. There was a lot to do but Rob and his team worked very quickly and before I knew it I was leaving the chair. I was elated to be honest. What can I say about Rob and the team at Dovetail? Basically I can’t praise them enough. Rob has given me back my self-respect and instilled confidence in me once again after many years of avoiding dental visits. I really can’t thank him enough for that. He’s such an understanding person and so gentle in his manner that I would urge anyone who is suffering from a dental issue to give Rob a try. You won’t regret it. I trust him implicitly. Once you have that trust anything can be achieved. Even for a wimp like me. I’d also have to spare a word for Allanah who (metaphorically) held my hand through the entire process. She was wonderful and the empathetic and sympathetic way my treatment journey was managed was due in no part to her. Give Dovetail a go!
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Dovetail Bespoke Dental Solutions is rated 4.95 based on 109 reviews

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