Hi Pete,

There always seems to be the difficult decision -- do I say nothing and suffer? Or do I disclose? It often feels like a no-win situation.

It has taken me a long time, but when faced with certian proceedures, etc., I find myself disclosing. I don't want to have flashbacks, body memories in the first place, and I certianly do not want them around strangers if I can help it.

If you choose to say something to your dentist, you can ask to speak to him on the phone. The conversation will be in private. If you prefer not saying anything until you get to the office, again ask to speak privately to your dentist.

However, I find that the hygenist is the one with whom I have the first dental contact. It isn't until she is finished that my dentist sees me.

Of course, if you prefer to disclose and you do not want to have a conversation with your dentist, you can give him a letter.

Dental care is scarey when there aren't any issues, and it is terrifying when there are. Please do not deny yourself this very important part of health care. Dentistry is much more than just cleaning your teeth.

Be gentle and kind to yourself.

Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.