How would you like to start your next visit to the dentist? Fondle a ferret? Pat a pig? Or perhaps chase a dachshund? These are some of the possibilities at the practice of Welsh dentist Dr Mark Boulcott.
In addition to pigs, ferrets and dogs, Mark’s ‘zoo’ has terrapins, horses and a variety of birds to help put his patients at ease. He says that the element of surprise means that his rather extreme approach to tackling fear of the dentist works with both adults and children. And with children, he can start the conversation about dental care by showing them the animals’ teeth.
Fear of the dentist is very common, affecting up to 75% of people. And 5-10% of people suffer from dental phobia so severe that they avoid going to the dentist altogether. Like the 12 year old boy in France who offered a very good excuse for missing his dental appointment.
He was kidnapped! That’s what he told the police patrol that found him in hiding. He managed to escape, he said, and provided a detailed description of the ‘kidnapper’. After a month of looking for the suspect, police realised the story didn’t quite hold up. CCTV images didn’t support his tale, and the boy finally admitted to making it up because he was too afraid to go to his dental appointment!
If only his dentist had some ferrets, and ducks and horses…
Picture of Dr Mark Boulcott and Liam Boulcott: Western Telegraph