A variety of patients
Here at Chapel Street we love to see a diverse group of patients. Our unique and experienced team welcome all Autistic and Neurodivergent patients young and old.
We find that we see not only "medically diagnosed" Autistic patients, but those who have self identified, sometimes due to the lack of diagnosis services for adults in our local area. People can be old or young and of varying backgrounds and ethnicities and we respect this.
A troubled Journey
Often patients find their way to us as they have had a bad experience at the dentist and are very nervous. Sometimes due to sensory and communication differences patient can experience high levels of tooth decay and this can lead to pain and anxiety making things even harder for patients. Patients and caregivers and parents also can experience guilt that, despite their best efforts tooth brushing and diet remain daily battles and that they are not doing "what they should"
We understand and are here to help you
Please, don't feel guilty if you or your child find coming to the dentist difficult and have not been for sometime or think your teeth are "terrible". Come and meet us and let us support and guide you. We've had and continue to have so many success stories over the years. We've seen children go from hiding under the chairs to actually laughing and enjoying their appointments. We understand that standard advice and techniques don't always work and there isn't a one way fits all approach to treating Autistic patients
I'm Gemma, the principal dentist at Wem and I myself am Autistic and have ADHD. My children are also Autistic and have ADHD (and they are like chalk and cheese!). My lived in experience for myself and as a parent gives me a deeper understanding and I hope this helps my patients. I continue to learn as a parent and a dentist on a daily basis, how I can best support those I care for.
How we can help
I could write for hours about all the different ways we can help, as every person is so unique but below are a just a couple.
Our practice is a small family practice in an old quirky building in Wem. Patients comment that "this doesn't feel or smell like a dentist". We have a garden accessible from our downstair surgery and don't operate a traditional busy reception.
We are truly patient led, we give patients time to settle and adjust. We take time to listen to preferences including sensory ones, we'll pretty much consider anything to keep you happy We have been know to do check ups in the garden, waiting room... lying on the floor even!
After you've explained "the rules" we need to follow, for example; turning the main lights off, your preferred room, a countdown to limit the time your mouth is open, we note them on your record so we can remember them each time you visit us. You have choice and control over what happens when you visit us
If you would to read more then Autism UK have great advice about visiting the dentist
We are responsive to needs
As a small independent practice we are able to respond to feedback quickly. We try our very best to get things right but if we don't manage that we are also grateful for patient feedback to help improve the care of others and in this way our service continues to develop and grow