I have avoided dentists like the plague. I had the same childhood fear of dentists that most people my age will have. They weren't very gentle then - and I can still smell that gas mask coming down on me. Then as an adult I had a very bad expereince, which I think justified my childhood fears. As a result, I'd rather do just about anything than subject myself to a dentist's chair. Although I do look after my teeth, I know it's not the same as professional care and I've been aware for some time that my teeth have that yellow stained look of a smoker.
So, now I'm knocking smoking on the head, I thought I'd better do something about teeth. So, on the spur of the moment - and after two large glasses of wine - I went into a local dentist to ask if they took on new NHS patients. I expected them to say 'no', they said 'yes'. I must have walked into the only dentist in the UK that is.
Then I said 'I'm a very nervous patient and not sure I should be here.' I expected them to say 'Well, go away and think about it', they said: 'We specia1ise in nervous patients'.
We then had a lot of silence as a long queue was forming behind me. Nice receptionist asked me if I wanted to make an appointment. I said 'Not sure, maybe some time in the future...'. She said 'How about next Monday at 4.20pm'.
I said: 'I want someone who is kind, gentle, understanding and won't hurt me', aware that I sounded like I was in a dating agency rather than a dentist.
She said: OK.
So Monday I'm in a dentist chair for the first time in years and dreading it already.
Anyone else done the post-smoking dental treatment?