With help and support she has been able to regain her smile. Previously dental phobic, she tells her story here to inspire others that with a little bit of help, anything is possible.
In January 2009 I had a haemorrhagic stroke and subsequently underwent a series of neuro-surgical operations. After months in hospital I was able to return home but was left with some consequences of my illness. These included a weak swallow and some damaged teeth. I also suffered from increased acid. Over the time after my stroke I noticed the deterioration of my teeth of which I had been quite proud.
I had always had a phobia of the dentist and once appeared on local television to highlight the problem. Previous treatment was usually under sedation but this approach was no longer an option due to the original causes of my stroke and with considerable guilt I let my teeth go.)
Over time I became more and more conscious of the appearance of my teeth and was reluctant to smile in company. I often held my hand to my mouth to conceal my decaying smile. I tried hard to do what I could and cleaned my teeth every day but I could not reverse the damage. I never went more than a day without saying to my husband how much I missed my smile and my old pre stroke appearance.
On a number of occasions I tried hard to fight through my phobia and even went to the Ulster Hospital specialist unit but this was a one and only visit.
On a visit to brunswick Dental Practice, at the beginning of 2014, I had severe toothache and was suffering serious pain. During this appointment I had a realistic and adult conversation with Dr Emma Prentice and shared with her my disappointment with what I had let happen to my teeth. Emma was so understanding and supportive that she convinced me she could help me if we worked together. I promised myself that I would give it a try as I could not lose, and trusted her completely.
Emma, Fiona (Patient Care Coordinator/nurse) and I agreed an approach that left me in control and gave me the confidence to undertake my first step on the road to a new smile. This was no longer an appointment with the Dentist but a regular trip to see friends that were helping me to achieve my dream. I always felt I was with people who cared and would help me through my fears. All the staff at brunswick Dental Pactice made me feel welcome and cared for.
My friends and family started to notice the difference very shortly after my treatment commenced and the more people commented the more I was determined to continue to the end. Friends could not believe the difference and as time went by they forgot how bad things had been originally. Even to this day people who haven’t seen me for a while comment on how well I look and I am sure it is my teeth and new smile.
I can laugh with my friends again and don’t feel embarrassed in company. I smile at people to welcome them and don’t immediately have to hide my mouth with my hand. Going out with friends is now a pleasure and not something I dread. I feel normal once more and not embarrassed of what I thought people would see as rotten and dirty teeth.
I love the staff at brunswick and what they did for me and would recommend anyone to pay them a visit. The attitude of everyone is so caring and helpful. It makes what was once a fear for me so great that it was unsurmountable, now a chance to catch up with friends while I maintain my restored smile.
Ann had crowns, bridges, root canal treatment, fillings and professional hygiene treatments to complete her smile transformation. Ann was also given help to reduce her dental phobia and guidance on prevention given her ongoing medical problems.
I can laugh with my friends again and don’t feel embarrassed in company. I smile at people to welcome them and don’t immediately have to hide my mouth. Ann