Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Dentists by Stevie Turner

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.

I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

Today author Stevie Turner shares her experiences with dentists in her teenage years and the probable devastating effect it had on her health.


One unfortunate thing about being a naïve, green teenager is that you tend to believe what older people tell you.

When we first moved to South East London we had to find a dentist. Mum took 13 year old Stevie to one dentist in New Cross and promptly informed me that she didn’t like the look of him. He had no nurse, no other staff at all, no patients waiting, and he wanted to anaesthetise me and take out 4 of my teeth. I was ushered out of the surgery quick as a flash and we never went back. About a year later he was front page news on the local rag due to his propensity to assault young girls while they were under sedation.

Mum eventually found us an NHS dentist she was happy with, Mr Brown. He filled her mouth with free crowns and she was as pleased as punch. Her teeth had never looked so good. We stuck with Mr Brown for years, but oh how I wish I knew then what I know now.

When I was about 15 I told my mother that I didn’t need her to accompany me to the dentist anymore, and that I was quite old enough to go on my own. Mum therefore reminded me when my next appointment was due, and feeling grown up and independent, off I would go to see Mr Brown.

However, it seemed that whenever I went to Mr Brown’s surgery he told me that I had to have a filling and an x-ray. This went on for the rest of my teenage years until I left home. I never questioned the dentist at all, and Mum and Dad were of the old school and tended to think that the medical profession were always right. Mum still loved her crowns, and thought the sun shone out of Mr Brown’s introitus.

I regularly cleaned my teeth and Mum provided healthy meals, but as I grew older I looked in the mirror and saw that all my back molars had amalgam fillings. My friends at school were also similarly affected, and so I wasn’t the only one with a mouth full of silver. Some of my schoolmates had their front teeth filled as well.

The fillings were not an issue until I got into my forties. They started to break and the dentist I then had needed to drill further into my teeth to re-fill them. Each filling ended up bigger than the original. The dentist also told me that the original fillings had not been necessary, and Mr Brown had been drilling my teeth (and countless other kids’ teeth too I expect) and taking x-rays that were not needed just to earn more money for himself. I’m not sure if this is still happening today, as nowadays there’s not many NHS dentists left as it’s more profitable for them to work in the private sector.

Twenty years later and the second lot of fillings needed replacing. The old system where the more work dentists did, the more they got paid, had ruined my teeth. The radiation from the unnecessary x-rays may have also contributed to my diagnosis of thyroid cancer in 2005. In my fifties I started to question each medical or dental procedure that medics told me I needed. I didn’t trust any of them, especially ones where I had to pay for the procedure.

In my sixties it’s costing me a fortune to have private root canal treatments and crowns on what is left of my back molars, as now I have to undergo sedation as well due to the after-effects of 30 external beam radiation treatments (which I won’t go into before dinner). A root canal treatment on 2 teeth and a double crown cost me £3000 in 2018, but now I know the work was necessary. I need to have another root canal treatment and crown in May on another recently broken back tooth. Thankfully my front teeth were never filled and so none of them are damaged, but if I could sue Mr Brown I surely would. However… he’s dead.

Above is 17 year old Stevie with a mouth full of amalgam, although you can’t see anything. Luckily Mr Brown left my front teeth intact.

©Stevie Turner 2022

My thanks to Stevie for sharing this cautionary tale about less than ethical dentistry practices… I know she would love to hear from you.

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner is a British author of romantic suspense, humour, paranormal stories, and women’s fiction family dramas. She is a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. Those two boys have now grown, and she and Sam have 5 lovely grandchildren.

One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from De Coder Media, an independent film production company based in New York. ‘Finding David’ reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition. Stevie’s latest book, ‘His Ladyship,’ reached the finals and Longlist of the 2021 Page Turner Writing Award.

To quote reader Roberta Baden-Powell, ‘I’m looking forward to reading your new book, and find your books the best so far. The style you write in has given me a new perspective and a renewed inspiration in reading once again.’

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

My review for Scam March 9th 2022

This is an intriguing read and apart from a great story concept and interesting characters, it also carries a very important message.

There are many temptations available online, and so easy to be taken in by the glib and bequiling charms of those who wish to part you from anything they can. Money of course but also confidence, dignity and very often the respect of loved ones. 

Enticement becomes menace very quickly when they have their claws into you, and once you have let them into your lives and offered up your information, it is not only you who may suffer the consequences.

This is the case for Lauren who looks for a shortcut to moving into her own home with her husband Ben, who is determined to work hard and take the time necessary to build up their savings towards their deposit.

Bad enough to become a victim of a scam, but when the criminals are on the doorstep there may be more repercussions than from some remote hacker thousands of miles away.

This is a game of cat and mouse and it impacts not just the safety of those close to Lauren but her marriage, job and future.

A thriller that will keep you turning the pages and a stark reminder that the old saying ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.’

Recommended read for anyone who shares their life online.

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Stevie : Goodreads blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress – Twitter: @StevieTurner6


Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Stevie’s response to the prompt… thanks Sally.

136 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Dentists by Stevie Turner

  1. It’s devastating to read about your experiences, Stevie. Three years ago I was touring in the UK and met a couple of young NHS dentists over breakfast at a B&B. I was shocked to hear them say they still use amalgam fillings a lot – they’ve been considered old fashioned and barely used in Australia for a very long time. Shocking to think that unnecessary work was performed on you for the sake of money – how can people be so callous? Healing hugs. Toni x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had a wonderful dentist for years. I’m so thankful. (Darn, he retired.) I’m so sorry, Stevie, that you and other patients had to deal with Brown. And that first dentist your mom didn’t like… how terrible!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. What horrible experiences you had, Stevie! I always fear dentists, and much more since during my college time i was in need of an emergency appointment. The dentist was drunken poked lightly into my cheek. I didn’t feel anything because of the anesthetic. But they told me afterwards. Ever since then I have feared nothing more than dentists. xx Michael

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The very word ‘dentist’ makes my blood run cold. When I was a child, it was the custom for NHS dentists to tour junior schools, looking for teeth to fix. I remember that it seemed compulsory at the time. Unfortunately, most of the teeth they found didn’t need treatment. Like Stevie, all my back teeth were ruined…

    Liked by 3 people

    • How awful. I don’t remember dentists coming to our schools, but yes, NHS dentists were paid for each tooth they fixed. Hardly surprising they took advantage of this fact.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh No!
    this recount brought back scary and horrid memories for me.
    Our school dentist was also of the fill’em mentality and the teeth were drilled and filled in a channel.
    Took years later to get them all individually done.
    I really ought to visit the dentist more!
    I now have a gold crown, so I can tell the kids i teach I am a pirate.
    My husband had a similarly bad experience but … due to Cancer his top jaw has a crack along it. So he could not have implants.
    He ended up having most of his teeth taken out, but due to gag replexes he can’t wear false teeth.
    Indeed our teeth are so precious and its a shame that so many suffered from bad dentisty.
    Now it’s difficult to find an NHS dentist and private dentists charge a lot!
    But , post pandemic I need to visit my dentist… but I think there is a lot needs doing.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Stevie speaks for a generation affected by that ‘loophole’ in NHS Dentistry. It became common knowledge that so much was being done unnecessarily to increase payments to the dentists involved. I am older than her, and suffered from the ‘extraction mania’ of the early 1960s. Every time I went to the dentist, he wanted to take a tooth out. When I was older, I went private against all my principles. I found that when you are paying up front, you can actually argue with the dentist!
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I, too, have had my share of fillings in my back teeth. Now, in retrospect, I wonder if they were all necessary. I had never given it any thought before. Sorry you had such awful experiences, Stevie. Going to the dentist was something I always hated. Thanks for sharing. Hugs
    Reblogged on Improvisation – “The Art of Living”

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh, Stevie! I can so relate! Hubby and I suffered the same fate. So shocking. And so ironic that when we’re having such problems because of that NHS loophole back then, we’re now stuck having to pay private fees to deal with the literal fallout. Hugs 💕🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  9. A proper horror story, Stevie! Thank heavens your mother listened to her instincts about the first dentist. In the fifties and sixties, dentists were paid by the NHS according to the procedures carried out which is why we were subjected to so many unnecessary fillings and extractions. I had an extraction of a molar when a schoolchild. They gave me gas and when my mother (a nurse) saw the anaesthetist leave the room she was very concerned because his reputation preceded him. They ran out of time, apparently, trying to pull the tooth and so the dentist resorted to hacking out a v-shaped wedge from my jaw. I had bone splinters coming to the surface for 18 months afterwards. It was ages before I returned but the next one I saw as an adult on the NHS couldn’t have been nicer and worked on the pricipal of prevention rather than cure. Love the photo and have just bought Scam based on Sally’s great review. Keep smiling!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Dentist are probably the doctors I trust the least. My sis and mom also had dentists use their mouths as money-makers for themselves. Sorry to hear you have gone through all that, Stevie! I replaced my silver fillings with resin composite once I learned how the mercury can leak into the bloodstream and wreak havoc. And I refuse to get x-rays every year like they want. I don’t want the radiation. Thanks for sharing Stevie’s experience, Sally! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a disturbing and infuriating story from Stevie. I’m so sorry that the dentists of the time preyed on children. I suppose that happens today too, sadly. It always makes sense for us to get a second opinion as well as to advocate for ourselves and others. Thanks for the words of warning, Stevie. And thanks, Sally, for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I think all of us had experiences like that – my dentist did not use anaesthesia and since we did not have fluorinated water, I had lots of cavities. I now have a goodly number of crowns and filling replacements, but the fillings lasted over50 years so I can’t complain about the work. I can really empathize!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m so glad your mom listened to her gut with that first dentist. I wonder how many of us has unnecessary fillings over the years. I know I have a mouthful that is turning into crowns quickly. My uncle had a dentist who pulled out all his teeth as a young man. Turned out later very unnecessary. Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Great story Stevie and I have to sympathize with you and your silver fillings. Mine were all silver and had to be replaced too. I had a second replacement when I was in an auto accident and my clenched teeth shattered. I now have lovely crowns on all my molars.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. OMG! Even dentists consider money is more precious than the teeth of children! What a sad state of affairs. Would you believe my first visit to a dentist was at the age of 57, with no major problem. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Holy crap Stevie! What awful stories. And the dentist molester? That is absolutely frightening! Of course I’d agree on the greed that goes on in just about everything we buy and do now, but dentists are notoriously a rip off I believe. Like you, I had a mouth full of silver mercury fillings, courtesy of my junk food childhood, but I had all the silver removed when I was 40 and all white now – and ironically, haven’t had a filling since! It’s not only ‘buyer beware’ but services beware! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  17. We frequently hear about doctors recommending unnecessary medical procedures or overprescribing unneeded drugs. I have to admit I’m pretty naive about similar things happening with dentists. The fact that it affected your overall health is particularly awful. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Stevie.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Stevie, we have all been there I fear. School dentists were barbaric when I was younger and the NHS allowed it to happen. In latter years the same story sadly. When my mother was first married, 1951, she had a toothache and the dentist not only took out the tooth which caused the problem, he decided, without asking her, to remove all her teeth which he said were slightly crooked, and he did most of it there and then. It would save her time, pain, and trouble in the future if he took them all! Plus, because she was going overseas for a long time, it made sense to remove them so that she wouldn’t have problems in a foreign country. She discovered years later that there was nothing wrong with any of her teeth. She met his assistant many years later and it was quite common for him to take every tooth out for his patients, she told Mum. She had to have false teeth, unnecessarily, aged 24. I am not a fan of NHS dentists sadly. I am sorry for your maltreatment. Disgusting.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Oh my goodness! That is horrible, Stevie. And yes, if the man was alive, I would be cheering you on to sue him. Thank you for sharing this story. It pays to be aware! Thanks, Sally!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I am so very sorry to hear this story. It is a tragedy when a person takes advantage of another, especially a young person, to make money. When I lived in Northern Manitoba, Canada, we didn’t have any local dentist. Every month, a young dentist would fly in (we were in an isolated mining town) and meet with patients. If someone had a toothache they would have to wait for the dentist to come. Dental care is vital.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Yes that’s me I was thinking as I read Stevie’s account! I can’t blame the NHS in the first instance as they straightened my teeth when I was nine and the orthodontist said how nice it was to see a child with no fillings. I still had a lot of visits to the dentist having healthy teeth taken out to make room. But when I was a teenager in Australia I started having fillings in my back teeth and I do not recall ever having toothache preceding this. Later on I seemed to acquire a crown every time I was pregnant. Now all the crowns are gone and so are the teeth. Luckily the front ones have never been touched. Fortunately I love rice, salmon, chicken etc because roast beef and steak, anything that requires a lot of chewing is a nightmare.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. OMG, Stevie! I am so sorry to hear of your troubles with teeth and questionable dentists. I had some similar problems too since I was quite young. My first teeth were damaged due to pneumonia and Scarlet Fever – high temps – which made my second teeth weak. As long as I can remember I had to go to a dentist to have about 200 fillings over the years.

    My mother told me to go to her dentist who gave her caps (like your mom). She loved him. He did everything himself in the office, cleaning, filling, x-rays without an assistant. But he did not do such things to patients as you stated about yours. Phew! Well, after going to him for years I moved away with my husband and had to find another doctor. This new doctor told me I would lose my teeth due to gum problems and had to have a deep cleaning of my gums. Not too pleasant! Yuck!

    I then had to have a patch put on my gums after all the cleaning and scraping which left my gums in need of a resection which they performed by cutting a piece of flesh from the roof of my mouth. Another yikes! Plenty of pain too! He did save my teeth, thank God!

    I found another dentist when I moved again and this one found something to do in my mouth at each visit – caps, root canal, resurfacing, etc. He did a great job on my teeth but I wonder how many of these procedures I really needed!

    I went to another dentist when I moved once again. This dentist said my teeth were in great shape at this time. Thank God! I only have had two small procedures, a cap and a resurface in over ten years. Phew! So I know what you mean about dentists. I do like my current dentist who took over the practice of an older couple. They are knowledgeable and trustworthy.

    I hope all is well with you and that you have a good dentist now too. Take care. Blessings & Hugs, my friend. Xo

    Liked by 2 people

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