Interview with Dr Gareth Mcaleer from Claydon Dental

From dental hygiene to cosmetic treatments, discover more about what Claydon Dental in Cheltenham can offer in our interview with its principal dentist Dr Gareth Mcaleer.

Following the opening of Claydon Dental's Cheltenham branch, SoGlos chats to its principal dentist, Dr Gareth Mcaleer, to find out more about what the private practice can offer patients.

Discussing its extensive services, cosmetic treatments, and the worst foods for your teeth, discover how the award-winning dentist can help you improve your oral hygiene.

When was Claydon Dental first founded?

The Claydon name was created from a very special practice in a village called Steeple Claydon in Buckinghamshire, where the Old Bakery practice first started more than 25 years ago. The practice developed high levels of patient care and created a unique patient journey.

When trying to recreate the ethos of the Old Bakery we realised that we needed a name that could carry this to other locations and so, Claydon Dental was born.

Can you tell us how Claydon Dental differs from other dentists?

Claydon Dental is different to other practices because of our approach. We look at the whole patient experience and have flexible opening times so people can pop in before or after work, school or college.

We promise we won’t tell you off if you haven’t been for a while, we take great care of nervous patients, and have processes that we use such as drill-free technology that helps those who are a little more anxious. We also look at the whole experience of a trip to the dentist and provide a comprehensive range of dental services for the whole family.

What made you decide to open your third practice Cheltenham?

We have many families travelling to our practice in Buckinghamshire from Gloucestershire and this made us believe there would be a demand for the specific services we offer in Cheltenham.

What services are on offer at Claydon Dental?

We provide a comprehensive range of dental services for the whole family. Our general dentistry services focus on a preventative approach where we support our patients to take care of themselves, and so hopefully reducing the number of times that we see them!

We offer all of the usual services such as cleaning and hygiene appointments, teeth whitening, root canal and bridgework and we’re also on call for emergencies.

We’re also industry leaders in cosmetic dentistry and are a platinum provider of the Invisalign orthodontic system. We have access to a purpose-built Dental Implant Clinic and work with a team of world leading implantologists.

Can you tell us more about Invisalign and explain what it entails?

Invisalign is a unique orthodontic system that uses custom-made nearly invisible teeth aligners to straighten teeth. It has become one of the most popular clear brace treatments in the world.

It’s a gentle, cost-effective process and because the aligners are so discrete and can be removed, they are ideal for important meetings or social occasions.

We offer a complimentary Invisalign consultation that will demonstrate what options are available and before you commit to the treatment we will create a 3D model of your teeth that shows exactly how your teeth will look afterwards. Some treatment programmes can take as little as six months and can start from £22 a month.

Have you noticed that certain cosmetic treatments are more popular now than when you started out?

Definitely, and dentistry and dental technology has responded to the demand. It is much easier and more affordable now to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. People want to boost their confidence whatever their age and if statisticians are to be believed – smiles are better than chocolate at cheering people up…

How important do you think good teeth are for overall confidence?

The eyes and smile are the first thing that we notice about people. It’s a basic instinct thing, we assess whether someone we meet is friend or foe and if you’re embarrassed about a crooked smile or missing teeth then it hugely affects your self-esteem.

We’ve seen people literally change before our eyes after seeing their dental implants for the first time or seeing how their teeth could look after undergoing a straightening treatment.

It’s why we also support the Smile Train Charity, which undertakes vital, life changing work improving the lives of children with cleft palate and lip across the world.

Can you tell us a bit about your dentistry background?

I studied dentistry at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London. We received an excellent education and training there, from world leading and inspirational dentists and academics.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the interaction with the many and varied patients I get to meet every day. I also enjoy the technical challenges of dentistry and getting results that, for some patients are life changing.

What are your top tips for healthy teeth and gums?

Floss your gums as well as brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, keep the frequency of your sugar intake to a minimum and of course ensure you don’t miss your regular visits to the dentist and hygienist.

What’s the biggest mistake people make with their dental hygiene?

I would say not taking their dental and oral hygiene seriously enough. People see it as a chore and an inconvenience so therefore they rush the process or fail to maintain their dental hygiene appropriately but we cannot stress how essential it is. Take some time now to maintain regular dental and hygiene visits to save on annoying dental problems later on!

What’s the best way to encourage good dental habits from a young age?

We can’t stress enough how vital it is to start good dental habits at a young age. Brushing teeth and gums with a soft age-appropriate brush or finger brush is really important to get children used to a clean feeling mouth and will help them maintain those healthy habits as they grow.

Are certain foods worse for your teeth and gums than others?

Sugar! Anything that contains sugar is bad for your teeth, even in small quantities. The worst products today tend to be those with hidden sugars, watch out for so called healthy low-sugar options as they are just as damaging to teeth. It’s frequency not quantity that counts.

What advice would you give to clients who are anxious about going to the dentist?

We pride ourselves on helping nervous patients; the whole Claydon team are trained to ensure that the whole experience is as easy and relaxed as possible.

There are a couple of things that we can recommend to help manage your anxiety levels; firstly let us know! Tell us if you feel this way and we’ll be able to help you from the moment you arrive, sometimes bringing a friend or family member helps too.

Listening to music or watching something funny on the overhead monitors helps too – any of these things we can discuss prior to your appointment.

For more information, see Claydon Dental, call (01242) 242366, email or visit directly.

© SoGlos
Monday 13 March 2017

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