• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

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Narberth, Pembrokeshire



Junior member
Feb 20, 2010
I am a very nervous patient. I had not been for many years and to be honest my teeth were a state. My wife told me I had to get myself sorted out and my friend recommended a dentist.

I was expecting the worse but instead I found some really caring people - not just the dentist who was great but all the staff. The really good thing is that the main dentist - Dr Mark Boulcott is the only person I am aware of in this part of the world who can sedate people like me for removing my bad teeth. Whatever drug he used was great because I do not remember anything!

I have had other treatment without sedation but all the staff just chat away around me, but including me. and I just feel in safe hands. I am so confident now I have even agreed to have a missing tooth replaced with a dental implant! Bit scared still but I have never been made to feel scared, or undermined in any way so I feel in safe hands. I would certainly recommend Dr Boulcott and his staff to everyone I meet.

If you are scared or unhappy - I suggest you call this guy. He has helped me so much all I can do to repay him is to tell other people like me all about him. Oh yes, his website is https://healthysmile.org.uk/. Worth traveling to if you live away.

Cheers Zepp:thumbsup:

[moderator's note: the practice details have been updated]
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Re: A Truly Fantastic Dental Practice

What a lovely website and we are so short of recommendations for Wales.

It's great that sedation is available but so is lots of time/tlc/animal therapy, so not just a case of always reaching for sedation and not dealing with the underlying fear :Extract from website

'A pig of a dental problem by Dr Mark Boulcott BDS MFGDP (UK)

Herbrandston Dental Health Practice in West Wales is using innovative and interesting techniques to alleviate the anxiety of their patients, and help them to relax at the surgery.
The Practice is well known in the area for it’s care of very anxious patients by many means, including the use of animals to alleviate anxiety, has now added a very large female pot bellied pig to its burgeoning animal collection.
The pig, a rescue animal, wanders freely around the Practice grounds and is a great attraction for patients visiting the practice. Restricted from car parks and clinical areas, the 10 year old animal known as Matilda, is kept to the rear of the building along with a large family of ferrets, four dogs, two large terrapins, rabbits and guinea pigs. The animals provide a unique rural feel to the village practice but serve a far more useful purpose than mere ambiance or decoration.

Dr Boulcott, the Principal Dental Surgeon at the Practice uses the animals to help overcome the fears of very anxious patients, especially children whom the technique particularly benefits. Dr Boulcott explains:
“Patients, particularly children, both boys and girls, often present to this practice with a heightened anxiety towards dental treatment. Many of these fears stem from a previous bad experience at the dentist or doctor and so they view us when they arrive here with deep suspicion. This makes them very difficult to treat as there has been a loss of trust. A vicious cycle of mistrust is then ingrained if the dentist ignores their concerns and attempts to treat without their full understanding and cooperation. Gaining trust within such children is very difficult within a clinical environment. The child expects unpleasant behaviour from the dentist and, sadly, is often is not disappointed. What we do here at Herbrandston is to try to break this cycle by taking the child out of the surgery and showing them that dentists can be nice people: can be friendly and can relate to them and their problems. How do we do this? Well we take them out and show them some of our animals.”
Dr Boulcott with Matilda the Pig. Brie the Ferret.It has been psychologically demonstrated that certain palliative procedures such as warming of the skin prior to surgery can significantly relieve anxiety. Dr Boulcott believes that similar interactions occur when a subject strokes an animal. Further, he believes that by showing a child (or certain adults) an unusual animal; stroking a ferret, touching a pig, stroking a sausage dog, it not only helps calm anxieties but it gains confidences. By doing this with the clinician, trust quickly develops as the child relates the dentist with fun things, not bad. As a result, their first visit to the dentist passes as a fun event and they are far more willing to return. Trust is formed and treatment can slowly proceed at a pace that best suits that patient.
“It is a technique I came across by accident when showing curious children my ferrets” Dr Boulcott explains. “Most children are fascinated by animals and to touch them with an adult engenders friendship and trust. Once trust has been re-established, treatment can proceed and we always have a mutual topic of conversation at next appointments. It may not work with every anxious child, but it always a good starting point. For those it does help, such trust engendering, relaxation techniques are far better for the patient than drugs or even general anaesthetic.
Trust in one’s clinician empowers the patient. I have had many cases where previously very anxious, even phobic, patients have slowly come around not only to accept treatment but to go on to accept surgical solutions carried out simply under local anaesthetic. Provided such trust is always reinforced, you have a willing patient who will accept the need for their treatment. Our animals simply help engender this trust and are remarkably successful in doing so.
As far as I am aware, I am probably one of the very few dentists within the UK who uses such techniques and both patients and I greatly enjoy the experience.”'

Bolding is mine - Brit
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Wow...am deeply grateful for having first found this forum,and then the above recommendation!
13 years later, Mark Boulcott is still working,and I was fortunate enough to get an appointment.

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