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I’m absolutely in love with my smile.

Even typing that statement still feels odd to me as since I was a teenager and more so as an adult I have become quite accomplished at hiding my smile behind my hand or only smiling without parting my lips.

Entering the competition through Accent Dentists has been an incredible journey for me. Let’s start at the beginning…..

Like many people of my age I grew up with the school dental clinic or ‘Murder House’ as it was called and I can also remember being taken by bus with other children to the dental nurse training school in Mt Eden. I developed from an early age an acute fear of dentists. The smell, the chair, the suction pipe and the drill terrified me even into adulthood.

My front teeth were crooked, patched and discoloured and I was hugely self-conscientious of them which ultimately caused me to alter my smile to hide my teeth or to hold my hand in front of my mouth when I laughed. Even our 40 year old wedding photos show a bride hiding her smile.

I have always longed for a lovely smile. I would notice other people’s straight teeth and wide smiles and wish……

Twelve months ago my dear friend Pam encouraged me to enter the New Smile for Christmas competition Matt was running through Accent Dental. Tempting as it sounded I just couldn’t bring myself to enter. The thought of voluntarily showing my teeth then horror of horrors my smile being voted on through facebook gave me chills.

Last year however she again sent me the link and told me to enter! With my husband’s encouragement and in a moment of weakness I did it! Thank goodness for persistent friends!

Imagine my shock when I was selected as a finalist…..there was a mixture of excitement and terror.

I remember going in to meet Matt for the initial consult and I confess I cried 4 times, I felt a wreck.

Matt was so kind, patient and understanding. We sat in the reception area and chatted for ages before we entered his consulting room. In fact before each consultation he would sit on the couches with me, with no sense of urgency or rush and this helped to build my courage and sense of peace.

I never felt hurried and felt my emotional health was a priority to Matt, so as time went by I felt less and less afraid. Now I’m quite comfortable and don’t need the couch time in fact I don’t feel afraid walking up the stairs to Matt’s consulting rooms anymore.

Now I have my new teeth I feel ‘different’. Mat told me I’d ‘need to learn to smile again’. So with some practise in front of the mirror I’m smiling freely and confidently. I feel confident and I know I have a beautiful smile, which I am thrilled to show off.

My friends and people I work with are commenting on me looking ‘lovely’, or telling me ‘there’s something about you’, ‘you’re looking younger, what’s different about you?’. It’s my smile of course. Now I feel this new sense of confidence, I’m not embarrassed about my teeth, I now love to smile and this is such a blessing. Winning this competition and having met Matt and his team at Accent Dental has been a huge blessing to me and I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me.

Matt is a dentist yes, but he’s also an artist! The work he has done on my teeth is masterful. His patience with me, his meticulous attention to detail, his caring and kind manner has not only given me the smile of my dreams he has helped heal decades of fear in me. I don’t have enough words to thank him for that gift.

Matt has my highest recommendation if you are thinking of cosmetic dentistry. His craftsmanship is outstanding and equally important is his care, kindness, support and warmth. I no longer feel afraid. Thank you Matt.