Christmas is often cited as one of the most stressful times of year and I do wonder if it is actually Christmas Day its self or in fact the huge build up that  causes the stress. Chatting with many of our  patients at our Dental Practice in Edinburgh  it seems that whatever your religious persuasion, a day spent with family,  eating nice food and perhaps even enjoying the odd tipple is a pleasant  thought for the vast majority and something to look forwards to.  Which leads me to conclude that it must be the build up that makes everyone so stressed and grumpy.

Maybe if we did not place such huge expectations on our own shoulders for the “perfect” Christmas day and recognised that some things can be imperfect  yet still immensely enjoyable  then it would all get a little easier. Perspective is a great thing and it always fascinates me how two people can look at the same situation and see completely different pictures.

I remember on one occasion not long after I qualified my flatmate and I decided to have a big party and cook a Christmas meal for all of our friends. Our ignorance was complete and we only learned how difficult it was to co-ordinate a feast for 30 people as it all went spectacularly wrong. Among the many disasters that happened  was the realisation that while our turkey looked crisp and golden ( ok burned ) on the outside the inside was still cold enough to keep the Haggen Daas at the right temperature till Ney years Day!   It was fortunate that  we had  paid enough attention in our microbiology classes at university to realise that the centrepiece of our feast was more likely to become the centre of  an outbreak of food poisoning.  With no fall back plan  we pressed on regardless without it using the time honoured  method of serving copious wine when the food is going badly wrong.   Looking back we have fond memories of that particular event and to this day it brings a smile to my face when I think of all the various stages of culinary disaster that we brought upon ourselves. When reminiscing on this with some of my  friends whom I have known since childhood it is funny how their recollection is different. Most of my friends do  remember the  fact that there was no turkey ( a raw but burned turkey is after all in some ways memorable)  but really remember what a good time they had.   It goes to show that for every situation two people will view the same facts quite  differently.

Reflecting now, I see that we had a great time because our friends were very  forgiving of our imperfections and made the best of the situation  with or without a full dinner plate.  Their actions made it easy for us to realise that our culinary incompetence was completely forgiven even though we were more than a little bit mortified.

It strikes me that when we are trying to tackle our dental fear we are a lot less forgiving of our own imperfections than  others usually are. Perhaps this Christmas is a time to reflect and be kind to ourselves. Maybe this is the year to stop beating yourself up about what you have done  or should have done to improve your dental situation in the past.  There are a group of interested people out there who will view your situation differently.  They are eager to help you move forwards without recriminations or judgement and what’s more they can help you to see your positive  dental future rather than worry about the past.

I hope this final pre Christmas blog post will encourage you to look forward and add “beating your dental fear” to your  list of new years resolutions and if there is anything I or the team at Craigentinny can do to help, just ask.

In the mean time have a very Merry Christmas

Dr. Fraser Hendrie BDS (Glasg.) MFGDP (UK)

Fraser is a Glasgow graduate with over 20 years of experience. He is the one of the principal dentists at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh. He has a reputation for consistent, high quality work and a love of innovation. Many of Dr Hendrie’s patients travel from the far reaches of Scotland, the UK and beyond. So wherever you live from Portobello or around Edinburgh to further afield he will be pleased to meet you. He is a member of the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, the Association of Dental Implantology, and has studied at the Pankey Institute in Miami on several occasions. Fraser has particular interests in Dental Implantology, Preventive dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry and information technology. Fraser has also been admitted to the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners by examination. Fraser is married with two young children and lives in Edinburgh. In his free time he enjoys running, cycling, and kite-surfing.