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Sharon Payne

Patient of Dr Claire Wilkinson
The Courtyard Clinic, 30 London Street, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8AA
Tel: 01932 582 949
What was the reason for your dental phobia?
I think it came from a dentist I had when I was a teenager gave me so much pain and not friendly that it put me off and stayed in my memory.
What made you decide to take the first step in contacting a dentist?
I was made redundant and had to apply for new roles and I work in customer services manager role. I had wobbly and decaying teeth at front and knew I had to face it at some time so made a new year agreement with myself not even telling my husband or family that I had made an appointment in case I cancelled.
What made you choose the dentist / clinic that you did?
I was looking online at nervous patients practice nearby and came across the Courtyard. When I initially spoke to Alison the practice manager she was very empathetic and booked me an appointment to just come in and meet the team.
Describe your dental experience (from the initial contact, the first appointment, consultation and right through to the treatment including your feelings and anxieties throughout).
I went to see Alison and she showed me around, I was petrified and nearly turned a few times. I was introduced to Claire and she listened to me .im scared of even the spike thing going in my mouth, the injections and had previously been on entinox at Guys but was even scared to get in the chair when Claire offered the tablet form of sedation. I was even scared if this was going to work enough to get me in the chair. Claire Alison and the nurse I think her name is Emma were all there for me , encouraging and not pushing and xrays and examination without the spike told me that my front teeth weren’t able to save and a few fillings had to be done. Ive had four appointments now im not cured still get clammy palms going in but feel a little better knowing the tablets work and have had fillings, my front two teeth replaced with a plate. It takes some getting used too and I hate the gap when the plate is out but in the long run I know cosmetically it looks better and family and friends have noticed that I smile now even though some of them have no idea the phobia I have. I have built up a good trust with the team.
How did you manage to overcome your dental phobia?
With encouragement from Claire and the team, the tablets that calm me down enough to get in the chair. I listen to music so I cant hear what they say and close my eyes. Mad but it gets me through it!!!
How do you currently feel about your dental phobia?
It's still there but not getting the better of me. I know I can handle going in and then by encouragement and my blocking out process(tablets,music etc).I’ll never have perfect teeth but at least I can smile.
Any other comments or words of advice to people out there who are suffering from dental phobia and are avoiding the dentist?
Find a practice that sets out to help you and not judge you from the start. If Alison hadn’t been so empathetic from the first meet and Claire so encouraging, she comes out and talks to me each time I go before even going in the chair. Its not cheap and ive used all my savings so will take the next step ,an extraction ,as soon as I can afford to but im encouraged to go on despite the phobia still being present.

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