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Confessions 101

So far it's been six months since starting the Dental Assisting course, nearly two weeks since starting this blog, and four days into the 2nd semester and counting. From the onset, I told my instructors about my dental prosthesis so there would be no surprises on their behalf. However, I was mortified by the idea of "going public" a.k.a everybody else finding out! Emotionally, I just wasn't ready for that...

In my mind, it felt like I'd be faced with reliving my school days all over again; and the fears and insecurities from my past reared it's ugly head more now than ever. I simply did not want to be ostracized and/or treated differently by my peers. Often, fear itself is worse than the actual issue.  It's funny how hard we can be on ourselves. We fear people will judge and/or mistreat us based on our real or imagined shortcomings. We fear not being accepted for who we are -- and yes, at times this is the case. It's life. Not everyone is going to like you. However, just as there exists ignorance, there exists plenty of folks who understand and will accept you just for who you are - flaws and all.  No one is perfect, only people who pretend to be -- and it's those people who are the main ones looking down on others.

Early on into the program I made a conscious decision to be forthright about my oral health/teeth; not only to my instructors, but to my fellow classmates and others I come across personally and professionally. And as time went on my courage grew. Aside from this blog, I'm not volunteering information but I do not want to be in a constant state of anxiety that someone will learn my secret and/or finding creative ways NOT to be found out.  See, that's how it feels when you're hiding something -- whether big or small -- you're constantly on edge that someone will learn your secret. I felt fraudulent and the only way to conquer those feelings was to be open and honest about it. As the ole adage goes, "honesty is the best policy" -- as an aspiring dental professional, I think this is especially true. In the future, if a patient compliments me on my smile and asks questions, I want to tell them the truth and feel confident about it. I believe many patients will find honesty comforting and empowering as I do -- to know that they are not alone and whatever dental issues/treatment(s) they maybe facing someone truly understands, cares, and ultimately came out the better for it!

Today, during my Dental Materials class the conversation turned from amalgam restorations to dental prosthesis. Of course, dentures, partials, and "flippers" came up and everyone had an opinion. My instructors and three fellow classmates already knew I wore partials. Well, amid that conversation something told me it was time to "let the cat outta the bag" lol. I raised my hand and said, "Well, I guess this time is as good as any..." and the instructor looked at me, smiled, and asked "Are you sure?". I nodded. I was simply ready and the time was right. So, I commenced to tell the entire class that I'm a partial wearer myself. Reactions were varied but nothing negative. Basically, everybody was cool about it and was like they would have never suspected had I not said anything.

I went on to mention my dentist -- Dr. Charles Martin and his team did a sensational job on my teeth and I always recommend his practice to those who inquire. I told everyone about my blog and showed the picture of my teeth before they were corrected.  After all was said and done, my classmates reassured me and complimented me on my smile. Suddenly, the conversation turned candid as other students began to share their own dental stories and/or restorative work they had done! I was a bit surprised but it wasn't that big of a deal to everybody else. Yet, that moment was major personal achievement for me. The I older I become, the more I'm coming into self love and acceptance of myself. I'm no longer putting much stock into what others think or feel about me. I once cared way too much about that. As you can imagine, it felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was pretty awesome. =)

Comments

  1. Awesome! I admire your teeth and think they are beautiful! I had no idea and rest assured that it doesn't make a difference :-)

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  2. Thanks, Jen. You're a great friend to have!

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