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The Lockdown Chronicles…

3 April 2020

24/03/20
Hi everyone!

Probably a daft question to ask how everyone’s doing, but I’ll go ahead and ask anyway! I really hope you’re all ok, no matter what situation this lockdown has put you in.
Right now, I’m feeling this weird mix of sadness, fear, and uncertainty – which is probably the same for most people. Writing this is tinged with a bit of sadness, as it will probably be my last blog for a little while, so I’ll fill it up as much as I can, so you don’t miss me too much. 💚

COVID-19 has spread like wildfire, and brought with it heartache, sadness, and total chaos to a world that had only just welcomed in a promising new year. I hope whenever you are, that you are staying safe, and making sure those who are vulnerable around you are doing the same.
I had an eye-opening conversation with one of my best friends yesterday, who works in a hospital for the NHS – and following that, I would urge you, with every fibre of my being, to keep your loved ones safe and only go out if you absolutely have to. The NHS, while it is filled with true real-life superheroes, it is stretched beyond its limits – and there are only so many people they can fight for in one go. Monday night, Boris Johnson put stringent measures in place to try and stop the spread. Please listen to him, please don’t put a selfish decision in front of another’s life. Only go out if you really have to.

The Briars will be staying open, in a very reduced capacity, to provide urgent care to patients who need us. This is firstly to continue giving our patients the care they have come to expect from us, but is secondly, to try and deflect pressure away from 111, and help those in genuine need of dental intervention. Believe me when I say how much it saddens us to close our doors to our patients, and to potential new smiles – but these are unprecedented times, and we all need to do what we can to flatten the curve, and stop the spread.

On a lighter note, lets talk about last weekend!
It was a really special one for me – my first official Mother’s Day! Richard spoiled me last year and got me a card and flowers from the bump – but this year it was the real deal. I had the most delicious little chunk waking me up with ‘MAMA!’ whilst attempting to use my sleeping figure as a climbing frame. Standard for us at the moment.
Freddie’s now 9 months old, and growing so fast. His current interest is climbing the stairs, and worryingly, he’s getting quicker every day. He’s learned how to throw, so most of his food now ends up at least a metre away from the highchair…a real delight when you’ve spent half an hour prepping him a baby friendly gourmet meal(!)
(I’ve tried to explain that we’re currently in a bit of a sticky situation as far as food goes, so maybe we could eat our slice of toast rather than sharing with the cats, but he didn’t appear overly bothered…)
Anyway, my boys spoiled me with some beautiful flowers, and some incredible hand drawn pictures. Rich drew them with the idea that we decorate them with Freddie’s hand and footprints. The perfect craft project for lockdown – nice and messy in the sunshine!
While Sunday wasn’t quite how I’d envisaged my first Mother’s Day, it was, in so many ways, perfect. I got to spend the whole day with my baby, I got to eat all the naughty foods I love, and I managed to have both an undisturbed bath and a lie-in! Winning!
The only real downside to the day was that I missed seeing my own Mum terribly – the first Mother’s Day we’ve not spent together in 28 years.
Saying that though, we are so lucky to live in a world where we can use things like FaceTime and Skype to be together, even when we are apart. We still chatted, laughed and loved like we always do in person, so apart from the big cuddle – nothing really changed.

The next few months are going to be a real challenge for everyone. I know the lack of physical contact with my family and friends is going to be really emotional, and really tough – but we’re all in the same boat, and this isn’t forever. I’m just feeling now how I felt towards the end of my Pregnancy – bored of waiting, and ready for cuddles.
Just think how much we’ll all appreciate the smaller joys in life when this is over. Never again will we take for granted popping over to see someone for a cuppa, or wandering into town on the weekend for a stroll around the shops. That cold glass of vino in the pub garden will never have tasted better.
Bring it on.

For now though, we must all dig deep into the British spirit. We can’t quite adopt the ‘keep calm, carry on’ approach, but we can keep calm, and keep hold of hope. This will all end eventually, and life will get back to what is likely to be a new version of normal. Loo roll will be back on the shelves, pasta will no longer be a worth more than gold, and the Briars doors will be open once again.

For now, all my lovely readers, please stay safe. I’ll see you soon.

Lots of love, Amy. x

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Testimonials

we love our patients

I recently visited Briars Dental Practice in Newbury and had a truly excellent experience. From the moment I walked in, the receptionist greeted me warmly and made me feel welcome. The hygienist who saw me prior to my appointment with the dentist was very thorough and gave me some great advice on how to keep my teeth healthy.I was then seen by Richard, one of the dentists at the practice, and I have to say that he and his nurse were fantastic. They put me at ease throughout the whole procedure, were extremely professional and caring, and made sure that I was comfortable at all times. I was also impressed by their attention to detail and their willingness to take the time to answer all of my questions.In fact, I was so pleased with my experience that I would also like to mention another dentist named Richard who saw me previously. He too was excellent, very thorough and professional, and I felt very well taken care of during my appointments with him.Overall, I can't recommend Briars Dental Practice highly enough. The staff are all so friendly, professional, and knowledgeable, and they really go above and beyond to make sure that their patients are well looked after. If you're looking for a great dental practice in Newbury, look no further than Briars.
Beatrice Andreea
Beatrice Andreea
12:07 11 May 23
Thank you for a wonderful experience, I am a coward when it comes to the dentist, Mr Nick French, put me at ease, and has the patience of a Saint. I would also say the dental nurse was I lovely lady who let me crush her hand while I was having my injections. I give Briars Dental Centre 10 out of 10, and would not hesitate to recommend them.
Jan Hamments
Jan Hamments
19:11 29 Jun 23
I had a hygienist appointment with Jo and her nurse, Suzanne. It was the first time I’d tried GBT and found the experience much more comfortable than usual. Jo and Suzanne really put me at ease and made sure I was happy throughout the treatment. It was good being able to clearly see the areas which I needed to improve on brushing and Jo gave me great tips. Would highly recommend
Lauren Jade
Lauren Jade
16:52 19 Jun 23
After such a positive experience today with Richard I thought it only fair to delete my previous review. I am a very nervous patient and not ashamed to say I cried before my appointment. Richard and his lovely dental nurse were so understanding and treated me with kindness and empathy. Richard explained everything to me and allowed me to go at my pace. All options for my next appointment were explained to me and I now have trust in Richard that I feel I will not need full sedation. I was in alot of pain prior to my appointment today along with an enormous amount of anxiety. Richard even explained to me how to breathe when having treatment- no other dentist has ever explained that to me before!Thank you again Richard and to your lovely dental nurse.
Mary Lovelock
Mary Lovelock
15:03 24 Apr 23
I had my consultancy appointment with Chelsea today who looked after me very well. She was very friendly and easy to talk to and explained everything to me very nicely. And also answered all of my questions and made me feel at ease today and for future appointments. It was nice to meet you, and thank you.Glenn.
Glenn Cooper
Glenn Cooper
22:20 23 May 23
I recently had to visit Richard Lineker as I'd broken a tooth.He and his lovely nurse Agata made me feel comfortable and explained what treatment I needed.They work extremely well as a team andmy treatment was painless.
Pauline Preston
Pauline Preston
13:59 12 Jul 23
Wanted to share my mother's thoughts of recent experience visiting Jo Craig hygienist."Jo was attentive , caring gentle and thorough today.I came out feeling fresh and motivated.Well looked after also by her lovely nurse Jenny."Angela Shaw.
Suzanne Hendry
Suzanne Hendry
11:03 21 Jul 23
I am very pleased with the treatment I received. After another dentist had told me the tooth had to be extracted, Mr Fady Khoury managed to save the tooth. The procedure was carried out in a very efficient and professional manner and I am very happy with the outcome.
Terence Marshall
Terence Marshall
16:03 24 Jul 23
Had an appointment with Chelsea today and it went very very well. Had my scans and photos done for Invisalign, which can be a bit awkward but she made it a comfortable experience. She was very friendly, welcoming, put me at ease and asked if I had any overall questions at that stage of the process. She was knowledgeable and explained everything I asked about. It's my first time at this clinic so I'm looking forward for my second appointment to discuss treatment. Great first impression from the moment I stepped through the door! Thanks!
Diana
Diana
11:01 31 Jul 23
A very happy customer! I had quite a lot of crooked and misaligned teeth so Victoria introduced me to Invisalign. She carefully created a program to give me the smile I wanted. In the end it took longer than we had expected but Victoria very diligently took me through every step of the process and she didn’t compromise on any part of the process to ensure I got the smile and teeth alignment we both wanted. A huge thank you to her and her assistant Jen who made every effort to make me feel comfortable throughout. Highly recommended.San
San James
San James
17:16 02 Aug 23
My visit to Richard last week went well. He identified that x rays hadn’t been taken for 3 years, and showed me the images, interpreting the results carefully and explaining the steps that may be required as treatment. I am disappointed that I will need to have another consultation to confirm if a root canal is needed. Warning: if you do need a consultation with the endodontist, you will need to pay in advance. I couldn’t do that on the day, but I will be booking in to have this followed up as soon as I can. I will need my own teeth for many more years!
Emma Mulholland
Emma Mulholland
15:31 18 Oct 23
Over the years I`ve found that the Briars delivers consistently high quality dental care and yesterday was no exception. I recieved first class root canal treatment by Dr. Richard Condon and team. Everything was explained carefully and despite my misconceptions was delivered pain free. I have no hesitation in recommending the Briars.
Mark Batten
Mark Batten
10:42 24 Oct 23
Having just completed a course of treatment with The Briars I can strongly recommend Fady and his team. Thank you for your straightforward and thorough approach, and for providing treatment in a stress-free environment.
Tom Saunderson
Tom Saunderson
08:16 02 Nov 23
It was a very welcoming place at the practice with friendly staff whose knowledge was informative and comprehensive. Chelsea was very accommodating and took the time to listen my concerns and provide me with the best advice on what action to take next.
Michael Scrimshaw
Michael Scrimshaw
18:02 23 Nov 23
Had my Hygiene appointment yesterday with lovely Meryl and her nurse Kiera. Meryl was gentle and very thorough. She removed all the staining from my teeth and now they feel super clean. Kiera made sure that I was comfortable throughout the treatment.
Agata Czarnecka
Agata Czarnecka
19:23 18 Jan 24
I highly recommend Briars Dental Care, I can't thank them enough for my teeth, they really put me at ease especially Kody. My teeth have never been straight but over the years they got worse, and made me feel so ashamed and embarrassed by them, now I have nice straight teeth and my confidence back .
Wendy Pearson
Wendy Pearson
09:58 23 Jan 24
Absolutely Excellent service, from the initial phone call with Libby at reception who was so kind, understanding and so helpful and Zoe who helped us on the phone with trying to find us appointments needed and for the amazing care and service received on arrival for treatment that this dental practice is without a doubt outstanding. Five stars is not enough!Highly recommend the briars, lovely staff and top class treatment!
Angel Greaves
Angel Greaves
13:05 07 Feb 24
I can 100% recommend this dental practice as I have been with Briars Dental Centre for a few years now. From the reception staff to the Hygenist and Dentist I have had my confidence boosted in the biggest way. The reception girls are always very professional, helpful, friendly and always make time for a little chat. If it hadn’t been for one of the girls on the reception team I would not have known about the payment plan, which is proving to be well worth it, and gives me free Hygenist and Check-ups and a reduction of 10% on other treatments. Thank you girls for that. You are all fantastic and lovely. Keep doing what you’re doing.My previous Hygenist. Aimee, was absolutely the best and I had no fear going to her. Now I have a new girl, Meryl, and she is also blooming brilliant. Thank you.My dentist, Nicola Murdoch, deserves the most praise having built up my confidence in dentists again. She even adjusts treatments according to my own personal dilemmas, like claustrophobia. She’s just the best. Thank you so much Nicola.
Debbie Huntley
Debbie Huntley
15:45 28 Feb 24
I have just completed my Invisalign treatment and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I wish I had done it sooner! Victoria, Jen and Chelsea were fantastic throughout and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them.
Jen Woodbridge
Jen Woodbridge
14:38 06 Mar 24
We have received the most amazing service from Rochelle before meeting Dr Holden who will be overseeing my daughters Invisalign treatment. Very professional and approachable team we are very impressed.
Lisa Miles
Lisa Miles
10:11 08 Mar 24
I have just finished my Invisalign treatment with Dr Victoria Holden, I never imagined my teeth would look this good, they are beautiful and straight and I have a glorious smile. The aligners are stress free, comfortable, easy to wear and the scanning was simple. Victoria and Jen have been amazing from start to finish responded to any questions I had. I cannot thank them enough. I would recommend this treatment to any one of any age, it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.
Charlotte Bradford
Charlotte Bradford
09:57 14 Mar 24
Always a good experience at the Briars from the reception team, the hygenist to the dentists themselves . Victoria is the most patient , kind and professional dentist . Highly recommended
Jenny Philcox
Jenny Philcox
16:55 13 Mar 24
I had a lot of discomfort from two adjacent back teeth, the slightest touch of cold drink and it got really painful. The Briars team quickly diagnosed the problem and explained the x-ray images that showed a previous different practice’s root canal had caused decay of the tooth and the adjacent one along with the surrounding bone. I was left with a few choices that were clearly explained to me, but removal of the two teeth was the option I took with an implant replacement for one of them. I was referred to Nick French, who is their implant specialist. I had a process that encouraged the bone to regrow and then the implant. Nick’s demeanour is so calming and his explanations very clear, I had no distress or discomfort at all. I recognised the techniques he uses from the manufacturing industry, they are so advanced that the replacement tooth feels exactly like the one it replaced and now my mouth feels calm for the first time in quite a while. I totally recommend The Briars Dental Centre and Nick French.
David Hartwell
David Hartwell
06:43 04 Apr 24
Having completed my first appointment with Amy at The Briars today I am very happy with the outcome. Everything was very well explained in detail to me and the staff were very polite and professional. Amy’s knowledge was brilliant and the technology used in the appointment was amazingly impressive. It really helped set my mind at ease and pointed me in the right direction for the rest of my treatment journey. I would highly recommend The Briars.
Jonny Paine
Jonny Paine
21:49 19 Apr 24
I’ve been using a periodontal specialist at The Briars for nearly 20 years and have never been disappointed. Treatment and advice has always been top class and has certainly improved the overall health of my teeth.
Martin Shoesmith
Martin Shoesmith
15:26 19 Apr 24
I recently had an appointment with Joanna Craig and I couldn't be happier with the care I received. She was extremely professional and thorough during my cleaning. Her attention to detail was evident, and she made sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process 5 Stars
Neil Garland
Neil Garland
10:41 07 May 24
The Briars Dental Surgery provides an exceptionally friendly and professional service that I would recommend to everyone. I grew up with a fear of dentists born out of difficult childhood experiences. However, I now look forward to my visits with my hygienist Jo Craig and her assistant Kasia. My Associate Dentist Nicola Murdoch provides annual check ups to ensure my overall teeth health remains in great shape. Sharmila has also taken great care of my gums with her specialist expertise. You are in wonderfully safe and caring hands at the Briars and they can cater for everything dental related.
Laurence Berry
Laurence Berry
08:54 10 May 24
All the staff at the Briars are lovely! Having just completed my invisalign treatment I could not be happier with the results! The process was quick and painless and the care given during the treatment was spectacular!
Jake Martin
Jake Martin
09:29 10 May 24
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