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Julia Hensley - Interview with mom Verna Hensley on how PWP helped her daughter with dental care:

 

Why did you come to Practice Without Pressure?

My daughter, Julia, soon to be 19, always had difficulty going to the dentist.  Due to anxiety and a very sensitive gag reflex, she always had to have the first appointment in the morning before breakfast.

I didn’t really think about coming to Practice Without Pressure until I just became frustrated with our overall dental care.  I felt I needed someone who was going to take a comprehensive look at what her dental needs were. Apart from her gag reflex, grinding of her teeth had become a chronic issue.  I wasn’t getting any solutions anywhere else.

What did you find at PWP?

We found that Practice Without Pressure not only helped Julia deal with her anxiety, but that the methodical approach that folks had there, the patience, the slow introduction to what was going to be happening to her, also helped her learn ways to manage things, like her gag reflex.  It’s a skill that has lasted even beyond the treatment that she got there.

What was your reaction when PWP dentist Andy Swiatowicz recommended Julia be fitted for a mouthpiece?

When they first said a mouthpiece, the idea of trying to get a mold set out of her mouth, I thought, ‘Yeah, right, let’s see if that’s going to happen.’  But it did. She had maybe four sessions and I could hear, even though I wasn’t allowed back in the room with her, by her choice, I could hear them talking to her about the steps she could take, pointing her toe to focus her attention on other things, counting to 30 and getting to the point where she could have the material in her mouth to get the mold cast.  It was really quite amazing to me.

After that, we followed Dr. Andy’s plan to visit an orthodontist and have some extractions completed.  Now we have an approach we can take going forward.

What could others learn from your experience at Practice Without Pressure?

I think there may be room for Practice Without Pressure to help a lot of other individuals who may not think they fit into the population you typically serve.  I didn’t see Julia necessarily being the most likely candidate to come to Practice Without Pressure, but I found that in a few short visits, it really helped her handle the dentist at a much easier level than she had before.

What did Julia’s experience show you?

As a parent, I was watching my little girl say, ‘No mom, I can do this. You know you don’t have to go back with me.  You stay here. I’ll go.’  I was pleasantly surprised...I had always gone back with her to the other dentists. That was a very big change for her. She is becoming an adult, a young woman now and part of her transition is learning to take responsibility for that experience herself.

As she is getting older now, Julia is really learning what it is like to transition to the next phase of her life and with that, I want her to have the ability to take responsibility for herself. I want her to be able to recognize, ‘I may be anxious about this, but there are certain things I can do myself to help me get through this.’  It could be going to the dentist, speaking in front of a room of people you don’t know.  It could be a lot of things, and many times it just comes down to learning those skills to be more confident in your ability to do whatever seems to be challenging you at the time.  And honestly, this is what our kids’ lives are like.  It’s learning to navigate through those challenges and helping them take responsibility, at whatever level they can take responsibility, to continue to push a little bit beyond that, that’s really what it’s about and that is what Practice Without Pressure is about.

 

 

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

Main: (302) 419-8131
Fax: (302) 836-3126