Sunday, 2 May 2010


Going to the dentist is scary at the best of times, let alone when you don't really understand why this stranger is rooting around in your mouth making you uncomfortable and perhaps even causing you pain.

With the shortage of NHS dentists nowadays, it can be an expensive business keeping your child's teeth healthy. Check out whether there is a Special Care Dental Clinic in your area - around us there are two, one in Aldershot and one in Farnham Hospital. The staff are trained to be calm, reassuring, and to speak in terms that are easily understandable. They use gas and air for fillings and other treatments that might cause someone with special needs distress. They provide good advice and regular follow-up appointments. Best of all, the treatment is free.

It took me until my daughter was 19 to discover she was entitled to free dental treatment at one of these clinics. Until then, I had been paying full rates at a regular dentist and whenever I asked (fairly often!) if there was any cheaper alternative, I was told 'no'. Also, my daughter was getting progressively more and more frightened of going and reached the point where she would barely open her mouth for the dentist and cried and struggled if he did any more than just look at her teeth - she had been badly shaken up by a previous dentist removing what he thought was a baby tooth with minimum anaesthesia only to discover it was an adult tooth with full roots - it hurt. After two years of going to the Special Care Clinic, she is happy to go, cooperates fully and has healthy teeth.

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