My story is one of how changing my smile helped my healing from years of abuse during childhood.
In the 4th grade I was supposed to get braces to assist with teeth movement and mouth development. My abusive father went to my appointment and instead started a treatment plan for himself. As a result, throughout middle school and high school not only was I trying to survive sexual and emotional abuse at home, but when I would go to school I was bullied about the appearance of my teeth. It made me extremely self conscious of my smile and appearance.
During my sophomore year of high school I finally got the courage to go to law enforcement for help. My father was later sentenced to almost 16 years in prison for abusing me and my younger siblings. This was the beginning of a long road to healing. As part of the process, after high school I was finally able to get braces.
Because of the delay in treatment, the orthodontic process took almost five years, with extra teeth needing to be removed and teeth needing to be moved into their correct position. Even then, when the braces were finally removed, I was left with gaps between my teeth due to undersized and poorly proportioned teeth. I was still extremely self-conscious and felt my smile was awkward. In a way, I felt my father was still haunting me, telling me that I was never going to have or be worthy of a pretty smile.
In the midst of my treatment, out of a desire to seek justice for other children that may be enduring the pain and crisis I went through, I became a police officer. I saved my money and also received better medical coverage with my employment. I started shopping for a new dentist and of all the offices I inquired about, Dr. Peterson's office at Northwest Smile Design stood out to me. Family members and friends of mine who are also his clients spoke highly of his talents and caring nature. After my first visit, I learned of Dr. Peterson’s special interest and extensive training in cosmetic dentistry. I asked him what he could do for me. He showed me 3-D imaging of my current teeth and asked me what I'd prefer and where I wanted improvements. He listened and worked with me to design my new smile.
My new teeth appear so natural with my smile and I have never been so happy. Walking out of my last appointment with Dr. Peterson, I knew my life had truly changed. I’m no longer reminded of the pain of my past when I look in the mirror. I now smile so big and confidently thanks to Dr. Peterson and his team. My abuser is never taking that away from me again.
I am truly thankful for their office and how they all came together to help me through this process especially during covid. I am still so emotional about it and the results of my teeth. I am even more confident at work! My life is forever changed for the better!!
It’s been truly a delight to get to know Ivy and an honor to be invited to be parted of her journey of healing. Paying it forward, we would invite you to visit https://www.dawsonplace.org and consider financially supporting a wonderful local organization that is doing a great work supporting survivors of abuse. — Dr. Kelly Peterson