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Dental Care - Dental Pre-Surgery Testimonial

For Andrew Bradley-Ortiz, coming to Practice Without Pressure (PWP) has made a world of difference in his attitude toward dental care:

Andrew connects with astronomy, Legos and ghost stories.  But before PWP, the dentist was on his off-limits list.  As a child, he had been held down for dental exams and sedated without preparation for procedures.

“His other dentist wasn’t patient enough.  I would hold him down and it was just a struggle, even to get him sedated,” said his mom, Yvonne Miller.

That experience had consequences.  “By the time he was six or seven, he wouldn’t go to the dentist. I would make other appointments, but he wouldn’t get in the car and go. It was an ongoing battle,” she said.

Andrew, age 18, has Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, and is on the autism spectrum.  When Miller turned to Autism Delaware for help, Resource Coordinator Heidi Mizell recommended Practice Without Pressure for his dental care.

At first, Andrew resisted. “Because a doctor had betrayed his trust before,” Miller said, “Andrew didn’t want to go to PWP, either. But I told him at first they would just talk.  And they followed through.  He found out that they would go step by step.  The picture cards really helped to show him what he needed to do. They were slow and patient with him, and he was patient back. What they were showing him, he showed too,” she said.

The PWP approach had a big impact on Andrew.  “They treated him like he was a person.  They respected him.  He learned to trust them at PWP.  That was a big part of it,” his mom said.

PWP also helped her. “Just to know there are people out there who actually care for these kids made me feel good. I’m the type of mom who’s anxious, and they were patient with me too,” Miller said.

Dr. Hope Thomas-Glavin, the Dental Director at Practice Without Pressure and owner of Weatherhill Family Dental in Wilmington, reviewed Andrew’s dental needs. She recommended surgery to have 10 restorations and to have his wisdom teeth extracted.   PWP’s Lead Practice Specialist Danielle Saienni encouraged him. “I told him you have to be brave for one day vs. going to the dentist 10 times for each procedure.”

But Andrew was concerned.  “He was more nervous about being put to sleep than about the actual surgery because he was afraid he wasn’t going to wake up,” she said.

Saienni took away the pressure of making an immediate decision by suggesting they first visit the Christiana Care Health System’s Roxana Cannon Arsht Surgicenter on the Wilmington Hospital campus.  “We let Andrew acclimate to the idea and the place, in steps, like we do all procedures at PWP.  We gave him time to take it in and make a decision. It was 100% his choice,”  she said. Two weeks later, his mom called to schedule the surgery.

By then, the earliest surgical opening was in the hospital itself.  Following his consult with Dr. John Vorrasi of Christiana Care’s Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry at Wilmington Hospital, Saienni and Andrew visited the 7th floor where the surgery would take place.  Andrew was so relaxed that he did not feel a need to go for a walk-through there. “If the only difference is that you have to go to two different rooms, I’m comfortable with that,” he said.

On the day of the surgery, Saienni stayed with Andrew and family through prep and holding and pre-op to ensure a smooth transition to the operating room.  He was met there by Dr. John Vorrasi and Dr. Andrew Swiatowicz, who works with Practice Without Practice and owns Swiatowicz Dental Associates in Wilmington. They teamed up to complete his surgery.  Dr. Vorrasi handled the extractions, Dr. Swiatowicz, the restorations.

Dr. Vorrasi enjoyed the collaboration.  “It was great having one of the representatives from PWP here with the family to explain the treatment plan and what’s been set up. It made it very easy to explain why two people needed to do the surgery, and how this efficiency would give him the optimal treatment in the least amount of time.”

Dr. Vorrasi also enjoyed the teamwork.  “This was the first time I had worked with Dr. Swiatowicz.  It’s a unique experience to have people in the same field working together to help patients, especially those with special needs, who don’t always have access to optimal care.“

Added Miller “It takes a special person to do what people at PWP are doing.  They’re like little angels that come by and say, ‘we care.’  They’re good for people with any diagnosis.  I hope they expand.”




Practice Without Pressure Corporate
P.O. Box 829
Bear, DE 19701

(302) 419-8131