Testimonial: Jo – Cosmetic dentistry with Barry Oulton

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While I have always done my best to look after my teeth, my ‘smile’, such as it was, degenerated quite rapidly in my late 30s and early 40s due to enamel problems caused an auto-immune disease. I was upset about the appearance of my teeth but had always been reassured by my dentist at the time. My two children were growing up during these years, and looking back I find it quite sad that I have no photos of me smiling alongside them. In fact there are very few photos of me during this period at all.

Towards the end of 2010 my NHS dentist abandoned his practice. I only discovered this when I turned up at the surgery early one morning, in great pain from a newly-broken crown. NHS Direct made me an emergency appointment with another NHS dentist. The new lady took one look inside my mouth and said I had big problems and would need a lot of work very soon. She said the auto-immune condition that I suffer from needs extra-careful dental supervision – which I had never had. She put her hand on my arm and said I needed to find someone who would “look after me”.

My sister lives in Haslemere – 50 miles away. When she heard what had happened she rang me and said “Jo, come up and see my dentist, Barry. I just know he’ll be able to help.”

Going to the Haslemere Dental Centre was genuinely a life changing experience for me.

The treatment coordinator, Chloe, spent more than an hour listening to me and comforting me as I described my distressing dental history. So even before I got to see Barry I already felt I had a friend on my side.

When I finally met Barry he listened carefully to everything that had gone on before then started with a full examination. It took a good half hour for him to catalogue the chaos, and in between telling me what he was doing and calling out instructions to his nurse he was whistling a happy tune. It sounds crazy, but it was really reassuring: it told me he wasn’t fazed by anything he was seeing – and that he actually enjoys his job!

The upshot was that I needed all the rubbish that had been put in my mouth drilled away and my teeth built up and shaped again with best quality, long-lasting filling material. I had the work done in two three-hour sessions, the first the week before Christmas. The original plan was to do the left then the right side of my mouth, because you can onlynumb-up half a mouth at a time. At the last minute Barry changed his mind and did all my top teeth in the first session, because he said he wanted me to be able to smile for Christmas. When he finished I was very reluctant to take a look. He eventually put a mirror in my hand and as soon as I saw what he had been able to achieve I burst into tears. I did the same when he finished the bottom set a week later.

When people ask me what is different about Barry, I tell them the first thing is his attitude: he genuinely wants to help you, and it shows. The next thing is the standard of his work – he’s a perfectionist, and he uses the best available materials. He has a lot of his supplies shipped in from America, because they’re not generally available over here. His third ‘unique selling point’ is his team. Everyone at HDC is just as friendly and professional as Barry himself. Finally, Barry is one of those people who will always be at the top of his game because he researches and embraces the new techniques and new technologies that will benefit his patients. So he’ll never be left behind.

I am absolutely delighted with the work Barry (and his team) has carried out on my teeth.

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