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Your Initial Consultation with the dentist

Dr Rahul Nehra tells us how dentistry has changed in recent years and what that means for us as patients.

22 April, 2024

Dentistry has long been fraught with tales of terrible experiences and painful procedures. And it’s time to set the record straight. In this article I will introduce you  to the new age of dentistry.

The turn of the tide in dentistry 

I’ve been a practicing dentist for years and time and time again I hear the same thing from patients, that they’re afraid of the dentist and what we do. That’s why you’re reading this because I wanted to talk to you about that dreaded initial consultation you have with the dentist. It’s not like how you may imagine (that we’re waiting drill in hand followed by an evil laugh) we’re actually pretty chilled out. And if you come in and have regular consultations, you’ll start to see how easy it is.

Dentistry has changed a lot over the recent years. The focus is less on doing the actual fillings and more on teaching you how to avoid having them done in the first place. We give you tips and tricks on the little things you can do to look after your teeth. Dentistry has become all about prevention these days. And it has also become more cosmetically inclined.

Dentistry’s changed a lot. The focus is less on doing the fillings and more on teaching you how to avoid them in the first place

Our practice, the Smile Gallery, is based in East Grinstead and we’ve found recently that patients are now coming in and saying things like ‘I want to have my teeth whitened’, ‘I want to have my teeth straightened’ rather what we use to hear about having big old metal fillings done (which isn’t a thing anymore, by the way).

What does the consultation entail?

We’re really quite easy going and the more you come in, the easier you’ll find the whole process. If there ever is an issue, we usually catch them quite early on so there’s no need to worry. And once we’ve caught them it’s usually really easily fixed rather than having to go down the old school way of pulling teeth out.

So, come in and see us. It’s nice and easy. Most consultations are smooth sailing. We’ll take photos, x-rays and go through everything with you. We actually had our waiting room made over so it looks like a living room, designed to make you feel at ease. You’ll come in, have a chat. You’ll be given a coffee or tea and we’ll then sit down with you (so you’re not stuck in the dental chair post examination) and talk through what you want. Our goal is to always focus on what you want. Whether you’ve come in to talk about your gums, your teeth, or just a general chat about your smile. We’ll then slowly go through and teach you the things we know and it’ll make it a lot easier and much more comfortable for you later on.

You’ll then meet with our team and we’ll show you before and after pictures of cases we’ve already worked on to give you an idea what you can have done. It’s really as simple as that. We even have music playing in the background during your treatment appointment. We’ll laugh and joke. You’ll get to know us all. And by the end of it you’ll probably be sick of us. But it’s a fun experience. I can promise you that.

The most common concerns 

I often get asked ‘how expensive it going to be’ or ‘what if I’m scared’.

Costs can be broken down. Dentistry doesn’t have to be expensive but it is a necessity. Payments can be broken down with monthly options. In our clinic alone, we have several options that can push the cost down to around £20 – £30 a month. And the fear can be put at ease with the help of some friendly dentists and a friendly team. Our aim is to make you feel as relaxed as possible. Once you’ve sat and had a coffee with us you’ll realise that we’re just normal human beings and not those scary dentists in the white jackets anymore.

So, what is dentistry like now?

The new age of dentistry is pain free. For example, at our practice we don’t take impressions anymore, we simply scan your teeth and you get to see live scans. We use a lot of numbing products, numbing gels etc. And we take our time to let everything settle in making it a simple pain-free process. Even the way that we use our instruments now is a lot softer and a lot gentler.

The way dentistry is set up now is to remove the stigma and fear attached to it, so your oral health doesn’t have to suffer because you’re afraid to come in and see us.

The new age of dentistry is pain free

Some treatments require you to be numbed and the biggest worry I’ve heard from patients about this is the injection. It always seems to be a large needle in their head but it’s actually quite small and thin and of course we numb your skin before we inject the anaesthetic. We use warmers that heat up the anaesthetic, so it just feels like a liquid. It wears away within 90 minutes and many of our patients go back to work without even feeling like they’ve had anything done.

Can I afford it?

Everyone worries about the cost of dentistry, so many patients say ‘that’s too expensive I can’t afford that’. But the basic treatments aren’t expensive. Your general check-ups are designed to prevent larger issues forming and keep you from shelling out for the expensive treatments.

They’re put in place to prevent you from needing large crowns or fillings. And if you do happen to need it then you’ll be presented with plenty of options, there are two or three different payment options for each treatment, I have patients on 0% finance and some that pay £30 a month making it a lot more affordable than it used to be.


Learn more about mini smile makeovers here.


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