Mirella James Overcoming Dental Phobia Interview
Question: Can you talk us through the dental phobia you had?
Mirella James: Not sure you can call it a phobia but dental hygiene in terms of regular visits to the dentist was something never really focused on as a child and therefore not a huge priority as a young adult either. However as an adult each visit (though rare) became quite a challenge with some experiences being less than pleasant and leaving me with a sense of shame and fear. Some dentists I remember treated me with apathy (as if I was so far gone, to do the bare minimum) or consultations that bordered on rudeness. From my perspective that attitude combined with my fear of those dental tools, giant dentist chair and the drilling noises – I had all the reasons in the world to not go back.
Question: How did your unsymmetrical jaw effect your childhood?
Mirella James: It didn’t really. The jaw and inability to bite into foods effectively impacted later in life and it really affected the types of food or meals I had and the way I chewed my food. I remember people always saying, you don’t need a knife and fork to eat that… but I would need it as my bite would never really grasp anything!
Question: What condition were your teeth in prior to visiting Dr. Wilfred?
Mirella James: I had badly stained and crooked teeth, crowded teeth even. By the time I visited Dr Wilfred, I had gum disease, one seriously wobbly tooth right at the front of my mouth and most of my teeth were in a bad way, and I suffered badly from halitosis.
Mirella James: Bad teeth started to affect everyday life in the simplest ways – from not smiling at the camera to noticing people stepping away from me when I spoke because of bad breath. How mortifying! My wobbly tooth impacted on what I ate – obviously nothing too hard that required ‘real’ chewing. It became quite a miserable time for me.
Question: What work did you have done with Dr. Wilfred?
Mirella James: The work on my teeth included veneers for the top teeth and I had all my bottom teeth removed and replaced with all on four (implants). Two days of work and a few in-between visits.
Question: How did Dr. Wilfred make you feel comfortable?
Mirella James: I think Dr Wilfred comes across as extremely knowledgeable and professional. I didn’t feel any sense of shame or guilt during the consultation phase. He seemed understanding and really wanted to know what the fear was based on.
Question: How did visiting Dr. Wilfred turn your life around?
Mirella James: With the help of Dr Wilfred and his supportive staff, I can say getting this new smile was worth every penny, the confidence I feel now is incredible and that confidence is almost tangible when I speak with others and when I smile as I know I look good and I’ve removed all the awkwardness that was there before.
Question: What advice do you have for others who have a dental phobia?
Mirella James: You really need to do some online research and go for someone who is caring above all. Dental phobia hinders proper management and care of your teeth. Find the strength to visit Dr Wilfred and see what he has to say. Not only is he at the top of his game but I think you’ll find his professionalism and understanding reassuring.
It’s important to find a dentist who can guide you both in a caring manner and in a knowledgeable way. Dr Wilfred’s practice is at the forefront of dental surgery. I have no doubt about that.
Interview by Brooke Hunter at www.girl.com.au