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£10,000 Gift Of a Smile Winners Story

I was asked to record a short message about my experience of being the lucky winner of the High Street Practice – Gift of a Smile competition, which seemed easy enough but it was such a short window and I had so much to say. So I thought I would put into words my experience.
I remember reading the paper and seeing the competition and thinking, wow, what a fantastic prize I would love that. I know everyone dreams of winning a lovely holiday or a shiny new car but a smile, now that was different and something I would dearly love, but didn’t do anything about it.
The following week I saw the advert again and I thought to myself I would really love to win that prize and I could not stop thinking about it. 2012 was an important year for me, my daughter was due to graduate and it was my 50th birthday both big photo opportunities. All I could think about was the competition and if I had nice teeth I would be able to smile in the photo’s rather than the usual grimace that looked like I was chewing a wasp. The competition stated that you could nominate someone or nominate yourself. I decided I would rather selfishly nominate myself, so I completed my entry and sent it off never expecting to hear any more.
It was a rare weekend when my daughter was home from university when I received my letter telling me I was one of the finalists in the competition. I was so excited and when I told my daughter I was a finalist in a competition to have £10,000 of dental work she said she was really surprised that I had applied but also very pleased for me as she knew how unhappy I was about my teeth.
I was invited to visit the practice to have a dental consultation as part of the competition process. I had not been to the dentist for quite some time and was worried about the poor condition of my teeth. I must admit I was really nervous.
I recall being greeted by some of the nicest staff who were so excited for me and I was soon totally at my ease. I was shown through to the dentist and that was when I first met Jaspal Sandu the man who was behind this fantastic competition. He carried out a very thorough examination of my mouth and teeth. He asked me lots of questions about what I did and didn’t like about my teeth and what my expectations were. He was lovely and made me feel totally comfortable to be able to speak about my teeth and the problems I had.
I must admit I did enjoy the examination as it not only covered the condition of my teeth but also the health of my mouth and we spoke about mouth cancer which was not something I had previously thought about. The x-rays that were taken revealed the true horror my teeth and I remember thinking that there was a lot of work required and I could not expect to win. If nothing else, I had had a very thorough examination and discussion about oral health and left the practice feeling very upbeat as it had been a most pleasant and informative experience.

I remember quite clearly the day I received the telephone call to say that I was the winner of the competition. I have never won anything before and this for me was just the best prize I could have won, I was ecstatic. Then the reality kicked in and I thought, what was I doing, I hate going to the dentist and my mind was filled with horrible thoughts of drills, injections and discomfort. I then thought about the dental practice and how lovely everyone had been and how comfortable I had felt. The practice had been so professional yet caring and it was this thought that re-assured me and made me realise how very lucky I was.
A treatment plan was created for me that entailed teeth whitening, replacement white fillings, new crowns, and a replacement bridge.
Never once in all my appointments did I feel uncomfortable or in any pain. In fact I really used to look forward to my appointments as I could very soon see the improvement with my teeth. I recall on one occasion I was so comfortable and relaxed that Jas had ask me to open my mouth wider as I was actually biting down on his finger as I was drifting off.
I must mention the lovely Alex who replaced my fillings. She has such a passion for what she does and really takes such a great pride in her work. She is such a credit to the practice.
I cannot tell you what a difference having this treatment has made to me. I was always reluctant to smile as I thought people would be looking at my teeth, but now I smile at any given opportunity. As for having photographs taken I can now step forward without any hesitation giving my biggest cheesiest grin. Not a day goes by when I don’t give myself a great big smile in the mirror just to make sure that it was not just a dream and yes I do have a great smile.
I am very fortunate to have won this prize and not a day goes by when I don’t acknowledge that fact. I can only encourage other people who have been worried about having dental treatment and perhaps like me had neglected their dental health to visit the dental practice to find out how they can help you. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised and might even leave with a smile on your face.
I would like to close by saying a big thank you to all the staff at the practice; you have all made my experience an amazing one for which I am truly grateful.

Share your story

“You need to see the hygienist” said my dentist to me as she finished my check-up. Those words used to fill me with dread. My experiences of seeing hygienists prior to joining the High Street Dental Practice had been both painful and unpleasant.
Not anymore! “Gentle Jules” as she is known, treats you with such care and skill. I can honestly say that I have never suffered a moment’s discomfort (let alone pain) whilst having my teeth cleaned by Jules.
She is quite probably the best hygienist in the world!

Jo R

I have never known a place (at least one where dentists hang out) quite like the High Street Dental Practice.
I’ve had check-ups, fillings, crowns, root canals, everything but teeth taken out. Every time I have been blown away by the quality of the experience. From Iva’s greeting to Julie’s gentle coaxing (to floss more), Debbie’s care for my teeth and Nikki and Amy’s brilliant teamwork doing my root canal, I have always had a positive experience.
This place is a model for dentists and probably many other businesses in the art of caring for customers. #cooldentist
Glynn R

Staff are very polite and good at their jobs.

Tom & Rose A

“Look at my teeth”, said David.
“Have you had them capped? I replied.
“No, I have just had my old fillings replaced.”
“But you can’t see the join!”
This was my introduction to the Practice and I figured that anybody who could do such artistic work must be worth checking out. So, I duly presented myself when my next check-up was due and met the wonderful Kate, the most glamorous dentist I have ever seen! She has done sterling work for me ever since with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of professionalism.
Helen B

Root canal, at my age? It was so unreal, I know I wanted it to be, I was dreading it. The surgeon, nice, smiley, Greek. My tooth, tender, odd, narrow… I have never liked needles, I was about to get a crash course, I was so scared, but the nurses were kind and gentle. My tooth now a medical oddity, a tooth in a tooth. My mum in a chair in the corner, x-rays of my tooth on a screen above my head, pretty, out of this world. Four appointments later, I’m free, friendly with the surgeon, happy.

Charlotte S

When I first stepped into the Dental Practice I had a huge fear of dentists, doctors and the like. I had a large overbite and over the course of around 4 years I endured several retainers and every child’s worst enemy, braces. On the ceiling above the patients chair was an amusing poster, ‘Have a day’; 100 different faces, all with silly suggestions, like ‘Have a Viking day’. Every time I lay there, I discovered a new face which made me feel more relaxed. I found my own ‘Have a day’ poster and it proudly hangs on my wall today.
Jennifer B

Once I had to have a tooth pulled. I knew that this was just a minor procedure, but when I entered the High Street Dental Practice, I was still nervous.
First the numbing gel, dabbed around the tooth. Secondly a voice: “…just a little pinch…”
Then the injection: I didn’t feel anything. (The numbing gel was working)
Finally the foreboding moment: I felt rummaging in my mouth, then it stopped; I was sure that my tooth was still in my mouth, however the dentist holding the tooth proved the contrary: my tooth was out, I hadn’t felt a thing!

“I’ve been with the High Street Dental Practice since I was little and my own memorable experience comes from when I was 11 years old. I needed to have a milk tooth removed, so I was booked in with Jas Sandhu, who had been my dentist for many years. I was so nervous that it would hurt, but it seems I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Jas was brilliant throughout, the injection was painless and I didn’t even feel my tooth being taken out. Thank you to Jas and the High Street Dental Practice for years of wonderful service.”
Natalie K

The day started badly with a chunk of tooth falling off. Jas, even though going on holiday, kindly agreed to see me in the morning for emergency repairs. He diagnosed the necessity for root canal treatment and the fitting of a crown. Nikoletta undertook the root canal treatment and was very thorough, taking no less than 3 x-rays. Saw Jas to have a mould made for the crown, which was perfect when fitted.
Everyone that treated me was charming and professional. Jas even promised to have a horse trough fitted for my next visit after I missed the spitting bowl.

Peter T

You often hear of young children being a little scared of the dentist. However something you don’t hear often is my case. A 15 year old being utterly terrified of the dentist, and that’s what I am, a terrified teen. Or should I say, used to be.

They say 3 is the magic number, and that’s how many appointments it took me to become completely comfortable. Little by little the staff helped my confidence, talking me through the treatment, showing me all the equipment. I’ve now had a filling, and it’s all thanks to the High Street Dental Practice!
Emily T

My smile audit

I don’t want to be known as a wimp because all of my friends are not worried but I am.
When we got in the car to leave for the dentist my tummy was full with butterflies and my legs were shaking like a leaf, I was trying to hide my emotions.
We arrived at the dentist and my worked up sister had to go first and it turned out fine what a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then it was my turn, I got up and went to sit down on the big blue chair, my feet as stiff as a brick and as straight as a stick, not even to mention the big bright like shining in my eyes and my mouth.
I was squeezing my mums hand so so hard, and then they shoved a hoover in to my mouth, I was too scared to move my tongue because I thought the hoover would stick to my tongue, then she goes and puts another thing in my mouth a MIRROR I thought she was here to check my teeth not check her make up.
Then I over heard her say to the assistant on the something tooth has ruptured, now that is enough secret code chit chat.
She starts looking at my back of my front teeth and she brings out a sharp pointy thing and starts scrapping of my left over cereal that I was saving for later on.
My top right tooth hangs out like vampires tooth but she said the orthodontist will be able to sort that out with braces, well we hope!!!
The assistant doesn’t talk much I wonder if she is as worried as me?
I would recommend you to all my friends and family thank you for making my trip to the dentist happy and fun.
By Bonnie R

Three years ago I had crooked teeth. At a regular check-up, Jas recommended I spoke to Alex, the orthodontic hospital consultant. Alex checked my bite and explained that many of the problems were being caused by my jaws being misaligned. Basically, the problem wasn’t just my teeth, it was also skeletal and the only real remedy was jaw surgery.

It’s now a week since my double jaw surgery and I’m still a little swollen, but I have no regrets! Give it a few months and I will show off my nice new smile thanks to The High Street Dental Practice!

Amanda R

The other day I went into the High Street Dental Practice, and wondered what was up? The receptionist appeared to be bedecked in flowers, and there was party grub in the waiting area. I had my teeth cleaned by lovely Jools to the tune of ‘Paperback Writer’…Little did I know that I had stumbled in, on that freezing sub-zero day ,into..Beatle Mania.. At the High Street Dental Practice…! But why would I be surprised? Yet another event in the true spirit of the creativity and innovation I have come to expect from the High Street Dental Practice, which has made Going to the Dentist a pleasant, fun and sociable experience. Almost an oxymoron, as far as I am concerned! A happening place, where black was the new white, where Jas would make time to joke with my monosyllabic teenage son, and treat patients like Real People and where I have been deeply enlightened by the ever spreading carpet of information on Joel’s ceiling…how does she get up there, by the way?..

Mary M

The big red door, what can I say.
When you turn the handle, you shout hooray.
You can hear a buzzing upstairs, and you walk up to a semi-circle of chairs
You are greeted with a vivid red smile
And you know it will last you a while.
Iva is sitting behind the desk, try not to disturb, and don’t want to be a pest.
People are asking about your health, but one of your teeth plopped out on the shelf
You can tell the staff about what happened, they are all sympathetic and their eyes start to dampen.
You sit in the waiting room feasting your eyes on luscious paintings,
Unlike at the dentist, they feel like fainting.
All my friends are jealous of me, because The High Street Dental Practice is where I go, even if the ground’s thick with snow. I will find a way and then again, I’ll shout HOORRAAYY.
Thank you for being such a friendly and kind dentist, it makes such a difference if you have a dentist you can’t wait to go to.
Mathilda H

Oh no Dentist again,
Will it be pleasure, will it be pain,
My filling is cracked, what will it be,
Will the Dentist be gentle with me?

I sit in the chair with much trepidation,
Stay calm, sit tight, even try meditation,
The Dentist asks, are we ready to start?
My pulse races, can they hear my heart?

Some new gel for gums, to help with numbing,
tense up, grab tight I know what’s coming,
No pain from the procedure, it’s easy to measure,
My trip this time was an absolute pleasure!

Tony B