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FLY AWAY TO SEE THE TOOTH FAIRY By gum, we Brits don’t like going to the dentist. But could it be that we just don’t like going to the dentist in Britain? Gemma Phelan pops to Munich to find out the tooth. Words: GEMMA PHELAN

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ou know when you were little and there was always that kid in the dentist’s waiting room with their lips pursed together, puckered up tight with both hands clasped over their mouth? That was me: desperate to protect my teeny-tiny baby teeth from a dentist and their drill. Until recently, I’d been the same with my grown up gnashers too. A trip to the dentist made me anxious. I feared the invasion of my personal mouth space and I feared being conned into parting with wads of cash for cosmetic and otherwise unnecessary treatments. A few years ago I went along to a super high-end dentist in London’s plastic fantastic Harley Street. Blame it on watching too much Keeping Up with the Kardashians / Gossip Girl / 90210 but I just fancied a consultation – I was curious to see what I could do with having. The men in the white coats there however were not really concerned with what I needed but rather how they’d like to splice up my mouth.

Anything is possible there, from a gold gangsta-style premolar to the complete and utter demolition of your own set of teeth and the insertion of something else completely. My 26 year old self wasn’t really in the market for a full set of veneers and a procedure to push back my gums like cuticles so I took my mouth elsewhere. My unease subsided when I went to see German-born dentist, Doctor Julia Basel at Praxisklinik HarderMehl in Munich. Julia’s attitude towards dental work is relaxed and health-focussed rather than style-focussed so she only recommended treatments she thought were necessary. Her professionalism is only outweighed by her caring attitude towards her clients. There’s a lot of trust required between dentist and patient, it’s a pretty intimate relationship. It’s so important for me to know that the person with their hands in my mouth has my best interests at heart. Julia specialises in endodontics — that’s root canal treatment — which it turned out I needed. Root canal

treatment is used to save teeth which would otherwise need to be removed. It is needed when the blood or nerve supply of the tooth is infected through decay or injury. The infection can, in some cases, lead to an abscess. The alternative is for the tooth to be removed. At only 31 years of age, this is something I obviously wanted to avoid. Root canal treatment is a skilled and time-consuming procedure. My particular course of treatment, which also involved crowning, required three visits to Julia, and to Munich. Root canal treatment doesn’t always work, but if there is anyone out there I’d trust to perform such a complex procedure, it would be Julia. She has an excellent record of doing amazing things for clients who thought the only option was to lose their teeth. She’ll never take the easy option of removal when there is even a small possibility that the tooth can be saved. Really, to anyone sitting there in fear that, that long-awaited trip to the dentist will result in you leaving looking like Worzel Gummidge, get in touch with Praxisklinik HarderMehl and ask for Julia Basel.

THE REVIEW 2015 169

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