Until recently, I had not been to see a dentist for over 20 years. I had not smiled in such a long time and whenever I laughed, I covered my mouth so no one would see my teeth. My husband never knew because I did it subconsciously and it looked like a natural movement so he never felt that I was covering up.

Then one day, I told my husband that I had not been in over 20 years and I told him why. Boy was he ever shocked. He started talking with me about the dentist that he sees – Dr. Gardner. How he never experiences pain of any kind; how his dentist is very gentle and so are the hygienists; how my comfort was above everything else. I gave it a shot. Now remember, I hate dentists with a passion.

All they ever gave me was pain and huge bills and here I was trusting my husband’s judgment about the very profession I was terrified of. My first visit: Hi’s all around, met the dentist, sat down in the chair; he told me what the purpose of our first meeting – taking a look at my teeth, taking pictures of my teeth – a general check on what’s happening. No pain, no discomfort.

I was embarrassed but after I explained my situation to him, he was not condescending. He and his staff were very professional and very helpful and understanding. This is a dental office, remember. I’m getting help, understanding and reassurances that all is fine.

My second visit: tells me what’s going to be happening; realizes that my husband and I are going on our first vacation together and he wants to make sure that I can smile without covering up. My third visit: I’m coming out of the dental office; I’m smiling – naturally, I’m no longer embarrassed; I have had no discomfort or pain of any kind during all my visits to-date.

The initial question was: Please tell us about your visit today. My answer: I came in with my husband to ask about a mouth guard and now, I make my own appointments to see the dentist. I willingly do this and I go in with a smile on my face not dread.

Over 20 years of no dentist to this??

I thank my husband for urging me to see his dentist. I thank Dr. Gardner, the hygienists and all his staff for making my time at the dentist enjoyable. I look forward to going to the dentist.

Is there anything that we could do to make your next visit better?

Are you kidding?

I get tooth brushes, toothpaste, floss and lip balm. I get to talk with a dentist and his staff who actually care about me, my family and my teeth.

Gabriele, Age 46 (New Patient)