Some people are afraid of heights. Some people require sedation for MRI tests or flying on airplanes. Me? I am petrified of the dentist. I have a true phobia. It is illogical. I have a wonderful, kind, gentle dentist. It does not matter. I had a true sadist for a dentist as a child: Dr. David Pressner. I think he must have been a truly tortured soul because sometime when I was in college, he committed suicide. I want to believe he was not the sadist I have memories of but my sister attest to his brutality: procedures without anesthesia and kneeling on us, pinning us down to the chair to keep us still…and then offer us lollipops on the way out the door. I was in college before I knew the dentist could be painless. It didn’t matter…I was warped.

Because I had such an aweful experience as a child, I wanted to make the dentist a fun and enjoyable place for my kids. The boys go to a fun dentist that only sees children. I wish I could go to Greg Gorganelli, DMD for my cleanings and fillings. Who doesn’t like a bit of nitrous oxide? Fortunately, their father’s got good dentist memories. Maybe we will have broken the chain.

It is an honorable goal to divert your children away from the path so easily followed. I do not wish my boys to inherit or mimick my fears. I want them to decide on their own how they feel and what they want. I wish to avoid transferring my baggae to them. I hope they are stronger, braver, more optimistic, more humble and less stubborn. Learn from my mistakes and fears and be better, get higher, love stronger.  

4 thoughts on “Phobias”

  1. Since you 3 have finally shared this info about Dr.P – I often wonder – why did not one of you 3 ever say anthing about his “abusive behavior” — we would not have tolerated that. He was a bit weird, but a decent dentist for we adults….maybe he just didn’t like kids.
    I wish one of you had told us about his unethical practices of children’s dentistry. I can’t remember who recommended him to us when we moved to Miami.

  2. When some one mistreats you and then hands you a lollipop and is polite to your Momma…you just keep silent. You accept some of the responsibility. You keep quiet. And….I most believe that having three children ALL profoundly fearful of the dentist…long into adulthood, should have been a serious RED FLAG.

  3. Well, we spent many years visiting Dr. Yaffey…he didn’t seem to strike fear – I still contend that you all 3 should have told us something – as you said, his demeanor towards parents was fine…and parents aren’t mind readers….you know that.
    You should be glad that your parents could afford dentists….mine couldn’t…that’s why I have a mouth full of false teeth.

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