Supporting Phobics of Dentistry at Guys Hospital

Is this how you see your dentist?

A first hand story of Dental Phobia and it’s Possible Cure

Following horrific dental treatment as a child, I have not been able to have any treatment on my teeth for over 50 years without their using a general anaesthic, under which they would only do vital extractions, I thought I would never be able to relax in a dentist chair again. Until recently.

Due to massive tooth pain I had no choice to make an appointment with my local dentist. As is the normal routine, they referred me to the dental hospital at the Royal London Hospital. Knowing my history, they made me an appointment with their specialist care team. It was then that one of their dentists realized that I may qualify to take part in a new specialist project running at Guy’s hospital. I was willing to try anything by this stage, and so I waited for an appointment to be made by this project.

And so it was that I was introduced to the Dental Psychology team at the 26th floor of Guy’s Hospital, and met Clinical Nurse Specialist Geanina Bruj-Milasan.

Closeup of dentist tools and mouth open with beautiful teeth (not mine)

I was instantly put at rest when I found the first appointment would be purely to see if I were qualifying for the project. Once they realized I was, it was explained that the first appointments would not involve treatment of any kind, they would be no more than a talk with Geanina giving me a chance to actually handle the equipment used by dentists and dental hygenist. This was a comprehensive acquaint with tools from the mirror to , and including, drills and injection needles. It took around 5 appointments to see that I was re-assured that not only were the tools less horrid than I’d expected, but that I thought that I could start to carry out minor treatments, now knowing that is could stop the treatment at any time simply by raising my hand, also that I could request extra numbing gel at any time.

Tools of the trade

This training resulted in my confidence slowly returning as I now realized that I had some say over how things went.

Actual treatment started once I had regained my confidence in the equipment and people around me. Firstly a dental practitioner capped one of my teeth, and I needed no more anaesthetic than the numbing gel.

Modern needles are almost as thin as a
human hair, and bend at the tiniest touch

Following this they arranged for a session with the dental hygienist who did some work on my teeth.

Both of these treatments were done with Geanina present in case I had any problems.

It was here that the problems caused by the Coronavirus lockdown took place, and so there was a delay in my receiving my next treatment. However after a few weeks break, I was back in. Gianina offered to be present, but I had sufficient confidence to undergo this treatment without her needing to be there.

It turned out that this appointment was to be an extraction. It was explained that all of the extra precautions (PPE equipment) were caused by rules to reduce the spread of Covid 19. Once I was comfortable, a nasal cannula was strapped into position, and they adjusted the measure of gag and air to make me comfortable as possible, they then used numbing gel (which I had requested), and started carrying out the extraction. Luckily the tooth they had to extract was already loose, so the process didn’t last long.

I know that I was nervous during this extraction, but I realized that so would anybody be, so I was proud of myself in being able to have an extraction carried out without our having to peel me from the ceiling.

I will never be able to thank Gianian and the team at Guy’s Hospital for their input. I would recommend this service to any other phobics out there, and it would be great if all dental hospitals go just that bit out of their way to operate the same service, as I have now seen the benefits of this type of service.

I have just received the date for my next treatment – I’ll let you know how that goes.

Do you think the Lockdown is over?

On visiting a local park today,

I thought the lockdown was over.

I'm Sick 1

There was little evidence of anyone obeying the social distance rulings. Some tried but the sheer number of those wanting to sunbathe was too high.

There was no sign of anyone wearing a mask – except for me!

All of this must result in an increase in the number of people who will be tested positive for Covid 19 during the next few weeks.

For a while I thought that we were a nation united in the battle against this virus. Sadly a few thought that the need to sunbathe was greater than the health of those obeying the rules on social distancing.

One key reason for this behaviour was  the relaxing of the rules, thus implying that the risks of passing on or catching Covid 19 were neglible.

The other problem was that England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all seemed to giving different information and directions.

Come on everyone, just keep the nation safe. Help keep the lockdown for a few more weeks, in order to give medical researchers the time to make a safe inoculation and then give them time to produce sufficient amounts for distribution nationally.

Doctor Who and Coronavirus 1





Official reply to this article:

I received this e-mail in response to this article on Friday 6th March 2020:

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said:

“The Local Voices Project is a time-limited project, which is coming to an end on 31 March 2020. The project was initially funded for two years and was subsequently extended for a third year.

“The council continues to engage with Real and other local disability led organisations and groups to support them with enabling the voices of our disabled residents to be heard in the design and delivery of local services.”

Kind regards,

Rosie (Comms Team)

Communications Officer

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Town Hall, Mulberry Place

T: 020 7364 4128

So I was right. The specialised services and advice provided by Local Voices are being withdrawn. Instead they will have to raise the funds elsewhere, or try to find the solutions to problems with regards thier disability will once again be spread over ‘a range of other services’, so they will have to hunt them down themselves as there have  not been any circulars to the Real and Local Voices service users giving them any idea where they can now turn to receive these services and advice.

We already know how incompetent the current home support services in Tower Hamlets are, and here they are placing a further burden on their already over-stretched budgets and staffing.

The only people to suffer from this situation are the most vulnerable in our community, the disabled.

The only people to gain from this situation are Tower Hamlets Council.




Local Voices logo 1

REAL and Local Voices are run out of Jack Dash House on the Isle Of Dogs in East London. They are the only bodies in Tower Hamlets who campaign specifically for the needs of the disabled in the borough.

These two organizations have been working for years building the trust of local disabled people, to whom they supply a Local Voices Newsletter regularly in many formats to the hundreds of disabled local people who need help and support more than any other.

The  project is currently focusing on the following areas:

  • Accessible Transport
  • Community Safety
  • Housing
  • Social inclusion – including digital and sports inclusion.
  • Computer Access and training
  • Advocacy
  • Local Events
  • Many other projects

Both of these organisations are run on a not-for-profit basis, and so funding them is a necessity to the disabled throughout the borough, but there is a fear that funding which is currently from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets,  may be stopped leaving both organisations scratching for funding and having to fight to continue to exist.

I am asking Tower Hamlets Council if these rumors are accurate or not.

I welcome their answer.

I will place a reply box below this article for their reply.





I had once again decided to attend the annual ‘Together Against Antisemitism’ rally. Having to use my mobility scooter, I had hoped to ensure a view of what was happening by arriving over an hour early so I could check what facilities there were for the disabled.

As there is still no ramp (as I had pointed out last year), I was informed by the organisers that a particular area just beside the stage on the pavement had been allocated for the disabled, so I went where they indicated. That’s when the fun started.

As soon as I was in the correct position, able bodied people started moving in front of me, blocking my view. Even though stewards tried to move them aside time after time, as soon as they moved two people aside four took their place. The problem was simply that the only barrier to keep people back was a piece of white tape laid on the grass, not raised off of the grass, just placed on the ground, so in no time I was reduced to looking at other peoples backs, unable to see anything.

What made it worse was that although I couldn’t see anything, I didn’t get to hear much from the speakers as the PA system kept failing when the generator kept stopping!


This was the view from the allocated area for the disabled!

The problems went beyond my needs. There was nowhere to sit for the elderly and those using walking sticks or crutches.

Although expecting many more, there was just around a thousand in the audience. This was probably because every social media source gave different timings, so many people had no idea what time they should be where.

The cause of this rally was worthwhile, but the preperation skills of the organisers were abominable, and that destroyed the whole event.

For me to attend the next event, there will have to be some hell of a lot of improvements.

I would like to attend the next event, and I wholeheartedly support the cause, but I felt that everyone was together in the cause, except the disabled who were left to feel frustrated and pushed out.