Patient Experience: Mike Fellows

“My Journey started many years ago before Neil was born! I was born in 1945 I grew up in the village of Gornal in the heart of the West Midlands known as the Black Country. My first involvement with a Dentist was a guy named Gaskey whose practice was in the Lower High Street Dudley. My father took me for a check-up at the age of 8 years and required a couple of extractions and fillings. I can’t recall if some were milk or permanent teeth. All I remember is that the fillings were without any anaesthetic and the extractions were by putting a horrible rubber mask over your nose and mouth, a vile smell and then a visual spinning bright light finally someone calling my name. Over the next couple of years I had loads of this treatment. He must have got paid by the fillings and extractions he did as family and friends had similar experiences. By the time I was fifteen a lot of my secondary teeth had been filled and I hated and developed a fear for Dentists and stopped going.

Roll on a few decades and by now I needed serious treatment on my teeth and with my fear of going to the dentists I booked in to a practice near to where I lived and there met Doctor Ben Edwards a young recently qualified dentist who, ironically, I was to learn years later a pupil of Dr Neil. Ben was absolutely brilliant and knowing my fear took what I thought was that extra time in my treatment. My confidence grew with him and over the years had continuous treatment but those early years had taken the toll on my teeth. Eventually, my upper double teeth on both sides were lost. This was a disaster for me as I was very self-conscience of the gaps that had now become apparent. At the time I had to deliver talks to members of the public and found it embarrassing not being able to smile or laugh. After a long chat with Ben it was decided on the making a denture that could fit across the roof on my mouth clip onto existing teeth either side.

The day came and I could only describe the denture as looking like a corrugated metal beetle and on its legs were attached to the teeth. I tried over the next few months to try and wear this contraption, it was uncomfortable, when I spoke it became loose, my speech developed a whistle whilst talking, I was producing more saliva, but the worst thing was having to remove it when eating. I then stopped wearing it and it ended up in a box in a draw where it remains to this day. As time went by I talked through my concerns with Ben he then discussed with me that a permanent solution to my problem was implants. By now I was willing to consider any form of treatment. It was at this stage he spoke about and recommended Dr Neil Wilson. My Journey with Dr Neil begins.


Ben arranged an appointment for me to visit Dr. Wilson. Letter/pack arrives at the end of November 2010 with the first appointment for 19.01.2011. In the package information of Central England Referral Centre and to be completed by myself an extensive medical history. January 19th 2011, the big day arrived nerves kicked in, should I go or cancel the appointment. Inner senses take over and I find myself driving to the Surgery for the consultation. My mind was buzzing with questions, doubts, costs, what if I spend a load of money and it doesn’t work. Wished I had written down all my concerns. What’s Dr Neil Wilson going to be like? Is he one of those old school stern unfriendly characters? I arrived at Central England Specialist Referral Centre. Mt first impression was that it was customer friendly open planning nice and warm. Receptionist welcoming and in between her telephone duties chatted away to me which I was grateful for, just imagine sitting there in stone silence my mind would have been all over the place. After a short time I meet a couple of Dr Wilsons nurses, really friendly and very respectful, insisted on calling me Sir, wish they would call me Mike but I suppose they have a respect code of conduct towards patients.

The big moment arrives for the consultation with Dr.Neil Wilson. Nervously I enter into the room for my first meeting. It is well known that in the first few minutes of meeting a stranger an opinion is formed and if it is one of, I don’t like this person, it can take a long time to change this opinion. Straight away after a few minutes of chat I thought “hey this guy is okay we even have the same interests in football and motor cycling.” The concerns I had been experiencing were soon dispersed, no need for me to have made a list, Dr Neil Wilson explained in plain understandable terms the procedures from start to finish. Then we came to the costing I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t to be full payment upfront. There was a finance plan that covered 12 months and if repaid in that time you didn’t have to pay interest. I thought “this will do me, no need to take a lump sum out of my savings!”

Consultation over, followed by a couple of x rays, felt a lot more confident now about the whole process and yes I would go for it. Not yet. Dr Neil Wilson would send me documentation giving a full description of the treatment, timing and costing, for me to reflect on the consultation and then if I make the decision to go ahead then to sign the consent forms. Agreed to the treatment, two informal visits, completing the finance forms, X rays and impressions. Bit of a setback! Doesn’t appear that the bone in the upper jaw is thick enough to guarantee that the implants would be secure. This would mean a sinus lift and bone graft to both sides, Dr. Wilson explained what this would entail.

Day came and thank goodness for the needle in the back of the hand and waking up after it all been done. Bad news whilst the operation was being carried out it was necessary to remove one of my last upper molars which Ben had reported as decayed this had led to infection in the sinus, but I suppose it was a blessing in disguise as this infection had not been visible prior to removing the molar. Taxi home with family member, don’t remember much of the journey, painkillers for a couple of days, mouthwashes, swelling around cheeks, wife starts calling me hammy hamster, diet down to soups and then potato mash, really good if you want to lose weigh! I took off over a stone but it soon came back on.

After few days the swelling started to go down so I went back to work. After a couple of weeks I returned to surgery for stitches to be removed and check-up everything okay so far. Then it was waiting for a few months with fingers crossed that the bone transplant would be successful. Meanwhile, one of my lower molars required a crown but necessitated a root filling so a couple of visits were made then it was waiting over the summer and autumn for the next stage. Roll on a few months bone graft was successful and the day came for the implants to be inserted into the bone. Needle in the back of the hand and job done. Eldest son takes me home in his car no recollection of journey home, painkillers and mash again but not as bad as the bone graft. Soon feeling okay, stitches out.

Next stage was preparing for the fitting of the temporary teeth and lower crown. Following this were appointments for the taking of moulds. Hate this gum stuff and template in the mouth have this fear that it wouldn’t be able to be removed or that my crowns at the front would be pulled off. This, of course, didn’t happen but it is messy stuff to get off the face. I hear now it’s all done digitally with no impressions needed. The final day, 27th November 2012, for the removal of the temporary implants and the fitting of the porcelain teeth. Great care being taken by Dr Neil to make sure that the bite is correct and the moment arrives when Neil shakes my hand and declares the end of the treatment.

How do I feel? Absolutely great! I can now smile, laugh without the embarrassment of big gaps showing, I can actually enjoy chewing my food now. Was it worth putting myself through the operations, treatment and time involved? At the time you may wonder and have doubts but when it’s all over the answer is Yes it was worth it. I cannot praise Dr Wilson and his staff enough! My experience with them has shown a top caring professional individual specialist whose own high standards are reflected in that of his dental team. Would I recommend Dr Neil to others? I already have!

Finally, the next day Post Office arrives with a parcel, thought it must be from my son in New Zealand with Xmas gifts. What a surprise to find it was from Doctor Wilson and his team! No, it was not my dental bits and pieces from the last two years but a bottle of bubbly and card with a personal message. Thanks Dr Neil Wilson and Dental Team!”

Mike Fellows


“After feeling very anxious prior to my appointment, I left CESRC feeling much happier and in very safe and competent hands. Every member of the team that I came into contact with were kind, reassuring and helpful. The experience of the team was obvious from the word go and I would highly recommend this practice! Thank you!”

E. Richards

“Another great CPD evening on occlusion last week. Keep up with the study club programme as it is a great opportunity for us GDPs to stay up to date and meet other colleagues in the profession.”

O. Hinton

“Excellent, knowledgeable team.”

C. Bradley


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