“I love cooking and used to do Vietnamese dishes because many were like soups and curries. Noodles and rice are easy to chew. I’d eat other soft food junk too, like beef burgers,” she says.
Desperate for things to change, Hayley wanted a new look and teeth that did not embarrass her in public. It was a fall that broke off a veneer which brought things to a head.
“I’d been coming to North Street for years – I was just too terrified to try anywhere new and when the place was taken over from the previous dentist, Mr McEvoy, I decided to stay on. It was the best decision ever.
“I was always conscious of my teeth. I was really shy, tried to talk without showing my teeth, but look at me now,” she declares.
But the journey to recover her lost smile was brave one.
Practice director Jacqui Burchell takes up the story. “When Hayley first came into the waiting room she sat in the corner, hugging her knees and rocking. She was dental phobic.
We took her upstairs and sat with her, explaining that we only ever wanted to help her and that together we could address this life-long fear.
“Hayley was great. She trusted us with her care and we held her hand in the dentist’s chair as the work got underway.
“She is proof that no matter how bad the fear, there is hope and in Hayley’s case a cure.”
Hayley had five porcelain veneers fitted, along with a crown, root filling and other work.
“I just clicked with Polly,” she says, “she was so patient and showed lots of compassion.
“Everyone here was just lovely with me; Ann the dental nurse, Jacqui, Lydia the other dental nurse and Chloe on reception. Everyone brought something different and the whole dental team really helped me. I can now laugh about the surgery. Wow!”