Ian Kelsey has battled with a phobia of the dentist for decades after a terrifying childhood experience.
The former soap star – who has played Vinny Ashford in ‘Coronation Street’ and Dave Glover in ‘Emmerdale’ – has opened up about why he has avoided going to the dentist for years.
He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “He used to drill and do fillings without anaesthetic and I remember him saying, ‘It’ll be over before you know it, just that little of bit pain will be worth not having a numb mouth for the day’, but there was this white hot pain as he drilled which was excruciating.
“From the chair you could see the towers at the top of York Minster, so I used to focus on spotting visitors walking in between the turrets during these horrendous appointments.”
Ian described the dentist as a “charming gent” and admitted he never questioned the procedure until speaking to a friend at an amateur dramatics group five years later when he was 18.
He added: “One of the other members, Laura, was a dentist and she flagged up to me that perhaps things weren’t being done properly.
“She had spotted that he had drilled a hole in the centre of one of my front teeth and said there was absolutely no reason for him to have done that.”
The 58-year-old actor – who would hide his teeth while laughing because of the impact of the treatment – let Laura cap his tooth.
He was later introduced to Dr. Bashar Al Naher – the founder of the Care Dental Group in London – who has developed the Enjoyable Dentistry Technique, which uses nitrous oxide for conscious sedation.
Ian said: “It was the best dental experience I have ever had.
“They use a mixture of gas and air and mindfulness, so Dr Bashar helped me visualise a garden and see colours to help me relax while he was treating me. I couldn’t feel anything, not even the initial injections.”