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I now know why dentists don't allow parents in the room!


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I've always thought it ridiculous and terrible that dentists would deny parents the right to be in the room with their own child during procedures, but after hearing what I heard today, I can see why it is common policy.:glare:

 

 

As I was awaiting the numbing meds to kick in for my procedure, I heard a 6yo child being harassed, belittled, mocked, bullied by her own *mother* for being afraid, for resisting the dentist's instructions, etc.

 

 

The dental hygienist and dentist handled the situation beautifully. They remained calm (through being bitten, screamed at, having the mom ramp up the trauma continually, etc...) and explained what they were doing and why, how long it would take, and what would happen next, etc...

 

 

 

I saw a similar situation happen at the lab several weeks ago (different office)...getting blood drawn. A 4yo-ish child scared-as-all-get-out, and instead of mom being a calm source of comfort, she's acting like a drill sergeant belittling, threatening, yelling, etc...to try and coerce the child into compliance. I actually spoke up at that time. I spoke directly to the child, "I know that hurts. I had to have mine taken too." Everyone else was either ignoring him, or making him feel like scum of the earth for fearing a big needle being stuck into his skin. (A Rational Fear!!!)

 

sigh... This is why people grow up fearing the Dr. and Dentist. It isn't always the Dr. or Dentist's fault.

 

 

 

and...I know which dentist I will ask for should my kids ever need any painful work done. That woman has patience of steel.

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I do get to be in the room with my kids but my dentist has kicked other parents out.

 

When DS was 2, he had horrible dental issues. And moderate Aspberger's. I was one of two people in the entire world who could handle DS and my dentist recognized that. So I got extra allowances from him. When DS needed oral surgery, his dentist let me carry him in and hold him while the anesthesiologist sedated him. Parents were not supposed to be in the OR and the nurses were terribly upset but the dentist really advocated for my son.

 

But man, I was there one day when a mother was going NUTS on her kid at the dentist and this monster screamed out, "Why does SHE (meaning me) get to be with her kids?!?!"

 

And my dentist snapped back, "Because she's rational!"

 

I hid behind the curtain and chuckled. But this mom was doing the same thing you witnessed - belitting her DD and calling her names for being scared. And the obscenities were a nice touch too. :glare:

 

I suspect this dentist has at least a touch of Aspberger's as well. Because he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would get it but he does.

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Eh. I won't allow my children to see dentists that do not allow me in the room. I've never been in a situation where there were no dentists in the area who allowed parents back - but then we go to a pediatric dentist for the kiddos, so that may be the difference. The exam rooms are large and cozy with a spot for mom (or even mom and dad) to sit with the child while the child is examined. I've even had the dentist advise me to sit on the exam chair with my child to hold him and joke with him so that he would be less fearful.

The only exception to my general rule of no dentists who don't allow parents is for major dental work - when our 3 year old had to have some work done that required sedation, I understood their rule about no parents in the procedure room (much smaller than the rooms used for simple exams or simple procedures; and they have an extra person to watch the child during sedation); besides, I got to stay with him until the sedation kicked in and, by that time, he didn't know or care that I wasn't in the room. Lol.

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And yet.... I'd never in a million years visit a dentist who did not allow me to be with my young son during his visits....

 

 

I feel the same. I just see why the policy came to be in the first place, from the standpoint of the dentist. (I was tempted to go and give the mom some ...ahem...sage advice,;) and I didn't have to try and use tools in the little girl's mouth, tools that if she flung away from might hurt her. kwim)

 

 

That said, with 3 dc, I like to arrange appointments so that they all go at the same time and we can get in and out. The offices we've gone to (and we move around a lot so we've seen several) have all been pretty open so I can see/hear them without being right there at the chair. I usually hear them jabbering away, asking about the ex-ray machines and tools, bragging about how they brush and floss.:tongue_smilie:

 

 

I do get to be in the room with my kids but my dentist has kicked other parents out.

 

When DS was 2, he had horrible dental issues. And moderate Aspberger's. I was one of two people in the entire world who could handle DS and my dentist recognized that. So I got extra allowances from him. When DS needed oral surgery, his dentist let me carry him in and hold him while the anesthesiologist sedated him. Parents were not supposed to be in the OR and the nurses were terribly upset but the dentist really advocated for my son.

 

But man, I was there one day when a mother was going NUTS on her kid at the dentist and this monster screamed out, "Why does SHE (meaning me) get to be with her kids?!?!"

 

And my dentist snapped back, "Because she's rational!"

 

I hid behind the curtain and chuckled. But this mom was doing the same thing you witnessed - belitting her DD and calling her names for being scared. And the obscenities were a nice touch too. :glare:

 

I suspect this dentist has at least a touch of Aspberger's as well. Because he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would get it but he does.

 

 

That dentist is a keeper!

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I would not use a dentist who did not allow me to be present with any of our kids. That being said, I did allow one exception when our then 8 year old had a painful extraction, because it was a tiny room and the dentist did allow me to be there while he was sedated, and when he was calm I left.

 

We have one son with a bilateral cleft lip and palate who had terrible, terrible experiences with dental care in Kyrgyzstan before being adopted. His first visit to a dentist was 2 weeks after arriving home when he had a completely rotted tooth causing him terrible pain and it had to be removed. He was given valium beforehand, gassed when there on top of it, and still totally freaked out.

 

But then, if my prior dental care had consisted of a pair of pliers and no anesthetic, I too would have freaked out.

 

Hence the reason I insist I will be present for all dental work.

 

Cindy

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I teach a local class where the parents sit in, and I just hate it when a parent starts berating ther kid. Certainly you might remind them to listen, or help them get their papers ready, but to launch into a lecture. Sigh.

 

Our dentist encourages parents to stay, but he always says that he reserves the right to suggest that the parent leave if it is making the procedure harder than it should be. ;)

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When we first moved to this area, the one dentist in town that took my insurance would not let me in the room with my young child. Because my child was not afraid I let that one visit (check up and cleaning) happen, but we never went back because of it. Instead, we've been going for years to a dentist I have to drive further for, but who lets me sit in on every single exam and procedure for every one of my kids. I'm much happier there.

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I also would NEVER go to a dentist/doctor who didn't allow me to come with my children. ODS has had two fillings. Both times, the dentist was far more annoyed and harsh than I was. ODS has autism and apparently doesn't understand that "don't talk" doesn't have a silent clause of "unless you want to."

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My kids are going to the dentist today, and they'll go back together without me. They do much better with these things without me than with me. In fact, when we took family photos last year, both kids screamed and refused to cooperate until the photographer (a family member) walked the kids away from us and out of sight. The tears stopped and they started hamming it up for the camera.

 

I know most parents here would never let their kids go back alone, but DS4 would never get his teeth cleaned if I were anywhere near him.

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My children do not see any medical provider that does not allow me in the room. It's non-negotiable.

 

On the flip side of your experience, we have a pediatric dentist (one) in our area who we went to a couple of times. HE berated a frightened four year old, then came out and dressed down the mother in the waiting room. Add to that the open hygiene area (biohazard nightmare), and we did not return.

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My DD's dentist allows me in the room (one reason why we went with a family practice instead of a pediatric one is that the family practice allowed parents to stay-the peds ones didn't), but DD now doesn't want me there :confused: and fusses at me when I go back. I think maybe it's because a majority of the patients are adults (I'm not sure there has ever been another child there when we've been there) , so, after all, no one ELSE'S mommy goes back with them. Luckily, the dental staff have been good at backing ME up on this.

 

I will say that this practice has been wonderful at little things which make DD and I more comfortable, and regularly schedule DD's appointments for longer than DH or mine so that DD has a chance to have her conversation with the hygienist until she relaxes and is able to sit still, instead of expecting her to immediately be ready to let this person's hands in her mouth. I think she's started looking up facts about animal teeth just to have a topic of conversation.

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Yeah, I wouldn't see any medical provider who didn't let me in the room for regular exams. We go to a pediatric dental practice, and I would probably be fine with 10yo DD and 7yo DS1 going back by themselves if they wanted to, at this point, since we've been to this practice a lot. However, the key is "if they wanted to," not "the dentist won't allow me back." And it's actually not been an issue because they can see all three of my big kids at once, and there's no way I'm not going back with the preschooler (who actually probably would be fine without me; it's DS1 who wouldn't want to go back without me).

 

Now, when DS1 had to have some oral surgery to remove a tooth, they didn't allow me in the operating room. They let me stay with him right up until they took him back, and then he was only away from me for a short time. They were really, really nice to him, though; it wasn't a pediatric place (different from our regular dentist), but they were amazing -- multiple people to attend to him during the surgery, the anesthesiologist came to talk to us beforehand, allowed him to bring a stuffed friend and a lightsaber with him, etc.

 

However, I'm nice to my kids! I can't imagine not being nice to a scared child! If I were a dentist, I wouldn't want parents who were mean in the room either!

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I think it depends on your child. Our pediatric dentist in town has a no parents rule. He has allowed some over the years as needed, but for the most part, all of the kids are introduce with their parents for the initial consult...shown around, light usage of tools to show them how they work, given a goodie bag and sent on their way. They are told that the next time they come to 'their' appointment that they get to go back by themselves like mom/dad do at their appointment. Most of the kids really do great. The only thing separating us is a partial wall and door, there are no closed areas except the bathroom which is in the waiting room and the only door is right at the desk and most of the time stays partially opened. We can hear everything there. There are also large saltwater fish tanks for the kids to look at and 'surfboard' type chairs to lay on, lol. I wish I could go there! :D

Edited by CountryGirl2
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My experience (as a teacher, not as a dentist!) is that mean parents are often scared parents. That is, the mom snapping at her 6 yr old right before his piano recital is terrified herself, so she's taking it out on her also nervous 6 yr old by snapping at every single behavior he shows-even if they're normal 6 yr old behaviors. We've gotten good at finding excuses to help defuse this, like pulling a child aside to warm up on piano or tune a violin-both necessary anyway, and properly timed can give a parent a chance to get their composure back.

 

I can see where having dental work done on a young child would trigger that fear response even worse than a performance, and it's harder to find good excuses that the parent will accept.

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I'm a dental hygienist. Our office does not allow parents back and 99% of them are fine with it. Parents(often without thinking they are doing this) do not allow their kids to talk when asked a question. I ask jr a question and mom quickly replies. No. If you allow this child to be 100% responsible for their own oral care(and most parents do expect their kids to brush/floss on their own...) they need to answer about their brushing habits and listen to dental care instructions.

 

Kids seem worried and scared UNTIL their parents leave!! They can(even at young ages) handle this situation all on their own. I won't even go into how often the kids are clearly manipulating their parents with a worried look, etc to get icecream, etc after the appointment. It is so much fun to see kids empower themselves and they are so proud of being big enough to have an appointment all to themselves.

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Our dentist insists a parent is present when children are being treated. This has caused problems for me when they were younger and I took all four. We always made appointments for the whole family so that while I was in with each child DH could watch the other three; however, there were so many times DH turned up too late and I had to juggle three other children in the room while one was being treated :glare:. I'd have been quite happy for the older two to have gone in without me, but it was against policy.

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I'm a dental hygienist. Our office does not allow parents back and 99% of them are fine with it. Parents(often without thinking they are doing this) do not allow their kids to talk when asked a question. I ask jr a question and mom quickly replies. No. If you allow this child to be 100% responsible for their own oral care(and most parents do expect their kids to brush/floss on their own...) they need to answer about their brushing habits and listen to dental care instructions.

 

Heh, I think the parents that are not fine with it have self-selected themselves out of your practice. ;)

 

I would never have attended a place that wouldn't allow me back when they were little, but I totally understand why some dentists have issues with this. There are parents like the ones in the OP who make it worse, either because of berating the kids or transferring their own dental anxieties by being overly reassuring.

 

I think our practice allowed parents back as long as they weren't disruptive. I always brought something to read and rather ignored my kids, sometimes I'd just lay a hand on their leg, so they knew I was there, but that it was also no big deal.

 

After the first year or two of appointments, they all skipped back there on their own.

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Yes, there are parents who are awful. I've known a few myself in class settings.

 

I resent a blanket policy that lumps me in with those awful parents, though. When I sit in with my kids at the dentist, I sit in a chair at their feet, with my hand lightly on the leg or ankle, and I read. If the kid is upset and needs me in a more active capacity, I might move my hand back and forth and murmur, quietly, "You're doing great," or some such. I don't speak to the dentist as I certainly don't want to break the concentration of the person wielding sharp tools on my child's body, and I certainly don't berate or harass anyone. I just hate the fact that some professionals will not even extend me the chance to show them just how well it will work to let me in the room.

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Heh, I think the parents that are not fine with it have self-selected themselves out of your practice. ;)

 

 

Possibly. However, the ones I can recall(VERY few) are parents who admittedly did not see a dentist on a regular basis and had very little knowledge about dentists.

 

Our office is not a ped office, so we see most of the parents as well. They know us and our whole staff live in a small town with a very large practice.

 

I have allowed a parent to stand in the hall outside the treatment room even though it is not allowed. Mostly for the PARENT's peace of mind. Or I will suggest the parent walk back after the child is seated and has xrays, etc. just to make mom or dad feel better.

 

Our office has also refused to see a patient if the parent insists on coming back for the appointment. Again, VERY RARELY does this situation ever occur. I can only think of a few times in 15 years.

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It's not a popular "stand" here, but I totally understand why dental professionals are able to treat minor aged patients more appropriately without the parents.

 

I experienced a similar dynamic when I ran the daycare. The advice to come in, stay with your child until they acclimate, etc often missed the mark in terms of "helping" a child transition.

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Possibly. However, the ones I can recall(VERY few) are parents who admittedly did not see a dentist on a regular basis and had very little knowledge about dentists.

 

Our office is not a ped office, so we see most of the parents as well. They know us and our whole staff live in a small town with a very large practice.

 

I have allowed a parent to stand in the hall outside the treatment room even though it is not allowed. Mostly for the PARENT's peace of mind. Or I will suggest the parent walk back after the child is seated and has xrays, etc. just to make mom or dad feel better.

 

Our office has also refused to see a patient if the parent insists on coming back for the appointment. Again, VERY RARELY does this situation ever occur. I can only think of a few times in 15 years.

 

If you look through past threads here, this is a hot button topic. Most parents here absolutely refuse a dentist who won't allow them back.

 

We have an excellent pediatric dentist who encourages parents to come back. He and his staff are wonderful with kids.

 

I wouldn't allow my kids to see a doctor alone, and I won't allow them alone with the dentist, either.

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I have been on homeschooling forums for many, many years. I do realize that this is a hot topic for many. Health care professionals deserve a voice as well.

 

ETA: Our office is a little different, as we are not allowed(by the dentist) to give treatment(cleaning or whatever) to a child who is upset, crying etc. The appointment is over when the child is no longer happy. We see lots of kids and this happens only a few times a year.

Edited by rjand4more
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First of all OP, that must have been a heart-wrenching thing to have to witness. And might I add, that whole scene would have made my very dental-phobic, SPD 6 yo son even more anxious.

 

Our dentist encourages parents to stay, but he always says that he reserves the right to suggest that the parent leave if it is making the procedure harder than it should be. ;)

 

That seems like a fine policy.

 

But like PP have mentioned, I'd NEVER in a MILLION years take my kids to a dentist that didn't even give parents a *chance* of staying with their kids during procedures. Forget it. Moose would never, EVER be ok with that. He has sensory processing disorder; visiting the dentist is very, VERY anxiety provoking for him. He needs me there to help calm him. Even WITH me calming him, he tends to cry. Not fight, not scream, not kick or resist; he follows all directions from the hygenist and dentist. He just cries because it's so overwhelming for his senses to go through a basic cleaning. Now, our dental office has WONDERFUL hygenists and dentists, who are patient and caring. But NO ONE knows how to comfort him like his momma. :001_smile: I've even had hygenists comment on how patient and loving I am with him. It's always made me feel like :001_huh:; because how *else* would I be, you know? But the OP's story has shed some light on what sorts of things the dentists must witness sometimes with parents being VERY unhelpful. That's so sad. :(

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I don't think that is the only reason dentists don't want parents there. I have never hear a parent act that way. Actually quite the opposite.

 

I am very concerned with how my children are treated. At my own dentist (whom I REALLY like) I wouldn't let a couple of the assistants near my kids with a ten foot pole.

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I have been on homeschooling forums for many, many years. I do realize that this is a hot topic for many. Health care professionals deserve a voice as well.

 

ETA: Our office is a little different, as we are not allowed(by the dentist) to give treatment(cleaning or whatever) to a child who is upset, crying etc. The appointment is over when the child is no longer happy. We see lots of kids and this happens only a few times a year.

 

If more of the offices were like this, I wouldn't be near as concerned. But when I can tell my child has been crying it's not okay. When I can hear them SCREAMING from the waiting room, I'm not going to be okay with this. When someone is holding down/practically sitting on my child to get through a procedure, I'm no longer okay with this.

 

So until I feel I can trust the office to do what is best for my CHILD and not for themselves, I will be back in with my child. When they are old enough to tell me what goes on and when they are comfortable being by themselves, then they can go back on their own.

Edited by DusksAngel
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I've never even heard of parents not being allowed to accomapny their child! My kids have been going regularly since they were 2 and I usually go in and chat with the hydenist while she is checking/cleaning. Then when the DDS comes in to do his check I can chat with him and ask any questions. If my kids are there at the same time they usually put them in adjacent rooms and I sort of go back and forth. I've even stayed in the room during a filling. There seem to be parents in the rooms with all of the kids. I guess the only time I have to leave the room is when they are taking an x-ray.

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First of all OP, that must have been a heart-wrenching thing to have to witness. And might I add, that whole scene would have made my very dental-phobic, SPD 6 yo son even more anxious.

 

That seems like a fine policy.

 

But like PP have mentioned, I'd NEVER in a MILLION years take my kids to a dentist that didn't even give parents a *chance* of staying with their kids during procedures. Forget it. Moose would never, EVER be ok with that. He has sensory processing disorder; visiting the dentist is very, VERY anxiety provoking for him. He needs me there to help calm him. Even WITH me calming him, he tends to cry. Not fight, not scream, not kick or resist; he follows all directions from the hygenist and dentist. He just cries because it's so overwhelming for his senses to go through a basic cleaning. Now, our dental office has WONDERFUL hygenists and dentists, who are patient and caring. But NO ONE knows how to comfort him like his momma. :001_smile: I've even had hygenists comment on how patient and loving I am with him. It's always made me feel like :001_huh:; because how *else* would I be, you know? But the OP's story has shed some light on what sorts of things the dentists must witness sometimes with parents being VERY unhelpful. That's so sad. :(

 

Yes, blanket policies don't work for many people. My son is autistic, though he doesn't "seem" like it. Most people think he's just misbehaved/bratty when he's "acting his diagnosis." There's no way I'm going to let someone alone with him. It just wouldn't work.

 

If more of the offices were like this, I wouldn't be near as concerned. But when I can tell my child has been crying it's not okay. When I can hear them SCREAMING from the waiting room, I'm not going to be okay with this. When someone is holding down/practically sitting on my child to get through a procedure, I'm no longer okay with this.

 

So until I feel I can trust the office to do what is best for my CHILD and not for themselves, I will be back in with my child. When they are old enough to tell me what goes on and when they are comfortable being by themselves, then they can go back on their own.

 

I recall reading an absolute horror story of an article about what was being done to children at Medicaid dental offices that didn't allow parents to come with them.

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our pediatric dentist doesn't allow the parents for the exam but then when it's over I go in there and watch him play. He's been a dentist for thirty years and feels this way works the best.

 

It's no biggie tho. He doesn't even do anything to them until the third visit. He has them come in with other children, and parents and see the place. The second time he has them sit in the chair and then the third time he cleans teeth. My son has never had a problem with going in.

 

My son's teeth are good so the visit takes five minutes. The rest of the time he's playing. The room is huge with windows for walls, rocking chairs, and a toy bin.

 

We like going to the dentist!

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If more of the offices were like this, I wouldn't be near as concerned. But when I can tell my child has been crying it's not okay. When I can hear them SCREAMING from the waiting room, I'm not going to be okay with this. When someone is holding down/practically sitting on my child to get through a procedure, I'm no longer okay with this.

 

So until I feel I can trust the office to do what is best for my CHILD and not for themselves, I will be back in with my child. When they are old enough to tell me what goes on and when they are comfortable being by themselves, then they can go back on their own.

 

oh that would be terrible! I haven't been in our dentist office and that happening. The waiting room is right by the exam room and the door is open, you can hear everything going on.

 

I would be very upset if my child was screaming and they were forcing them.

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Every time this comes up I feel guilty (not seriously but a little) for letting my kids see a dentist with this policy.

 

Our dentist allows parents for checkups and we went for years with mulitple kids before any of them needed treatment that brought this policy to our attention. I went along with it just fine because I already had a relationship with him and his assistants and, honestly, it seemed reasonable.

 

I am so protective about so many things. These dentist threads always make me feel like I let one get by me by allowing this. It's really okay though.

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You can find all sorts of things about the abuses, especially to low-income patients, that occur in dental offices when parents aren't present. Here's the first I found, and this was nothing compared to what I recall reading a few years ago.

 

http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=100963

 

"This was the critical document, and it certified her credibility. The manual was filled with red flags. Parents weren’t allowed to sit with their children during treatment. Young children were routinely strapped to papoose boards, immobilized with Velcro straps. And she showed me a bonus check for beating production goals while acknowledging that she, like other dental staff, conducted x-rays on children even though they weren’t certified, a clear violation of Maryland law.

 

McDaniel agreed to speak on camera and, in the course of the interview, she described how some children, isolated from their parents, would sweat profusely. Sometimes they threw up. If that happened, the dental assistants were taught to flip them over on the papoose board, suction out their mouths, and flip them back so the dentist could continue working. Sometimes the children wet their pants. Hair dryers were kept handy to dry kids off before sending them back out to their parents. McDaniel explained that the rooms had radios blasting to obscure the sound of screams."

 

"When we went to the clinic, he did just that, and captured crying children strapped to papoose boards, others not properly shielded during x-rays, and a four-year old boy having his nose pinched in an attempt to force open his mouth. These scenes were so graphic that we debated what would be acceptable to show on air."

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Sorry, I refuse to let my kids see a dentist on their own. I am in charge of overseeing their dental care, as I am their medical care. Too many abused patients. Also a doctor at my kids' office (not their pediatrician) was exposed as a pedophile so...no, just no.

 

When I spoke to my kids' pediatrician about dentists who don't allow parents, she thought this was more common among pediatric dentists than family dentists.

 

My kids' dentist has a sign about not allowing parents in, but I ignore it and so does everyone else. They appear just fine with me being in the room. In some cases, it has helped tremendously that a parent was there.

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Well, every situation deserves to be judged independently. Just because a parent acts abusively one time doesn't mean ALL parents will behave like that. I had a dentist tell me I couldn't be with my child, who that wanted to sedate. I had already told them NO to the sedation and then they told me they 'reserved' the right to do so and needed my signature. I refused. They then told me I wasn't allowed back. So we left and found another dentist.

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Every time this comes up I feel guilty (not seriously but a little) for letting my kids see a dentist with this policy.

 

Our dentist allows parents for checkups and we went for years with mulitple kids before any of them needed treatment that brought this policy to our attention. I went along with it just fine because I already had a relationship with him and his assistants and, honestly, it seemed reasonable.

 

I am so protective about so many things. These dentist threads always make me feel like I let one get by me by allowing this. It's really okay though.

 

 

I don't feel guilty, probably because the way the office is set up. If he was down a hallway in a room in a corner, then no way. If I couldn't hear everything, then no way. If the dentist and his staff weren't obviously so loving and kind, then no way. If it was a busy practice, then no way. Since he's semi retired and sees only a few kids a few days a week, we'll never be in a room full of patients where I couldn't hear what they were doing. If my son balked at any time I wouldn't let him go in, but he happily, without a glance back at me, goes into the big room. He's told me he loves to go to the dentist.

 

 

I think it really depends on the situation as to whether it is for the child's benefit.

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You can find all sorts of things about the abuses, especially to low-income patients, that occur in dental offices when parents aren't present. Here's the first I found, and this was nothing compared to what I recall reading a few years ago.

 

http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=100963

 

"This was the critical document, and it certified her credibility. The manual was filled with red flags. Parents weren’t allowed to sit with their children during treatment. Young children were routinely strapped to papoose boards, immobilized with Velcro straps. And she showed me a bonus check for beating production goals while acknowledging that she, like other dental staff, conducted x-rays on children even though they weren’t certified, a clear violation of Maryland law.

 

McDaniel agreed to speak on camera and, in the course of the interview, she described how some children, isolated from their parents, would sweat profusely. Sometimes they threw up. If that happened, the dental assistants were taught to flip them over on the papoose board, suction out their mouths, and flip them back so the dentist could continue working. Sometimes the children wet their pants. Hair dryers were kept handy to dry kids off before sending them back out to their parents. McDaniel explained that the rooms had radios blasting to obscure the sound of screams."

 

"When we went to the clinic, he did just that, and captured crying children strapped to papoose boards, others not properly shielded during x-rays, and a four-year old boy having his nose pinched in an attempt to force open his mouth. These scenes were so graphic that we debated what would be acceptable to show on air."

 

I think I may vomit :crying:

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I have been a dental hygienist for 36 years and have worked in public health and private practice. I cannot think of one office where a parent/guardian was not allowed into the treatment room with the child.

During a new patient visit with a young child, I like to have a parent in the room (usually behind or beside the child and facing me) so that I can talk with him/her about the child's home care, etc. Usually at the next recare visit I'll see the child without the parent. If there is separation anxiety (can be just the child, just the parent, or both!), I'll leave the reception room door slightly ajar and speak a bit louder so the parent can hear and see what is going on. (Yes, I know about HIPAA regs.)

From a dental professional's perspective, it is usually less stressful for everyone not to have the parent in the room during treatment.

Edited by ccm
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Wow, poor kids! I was able to be with Rebecca while they gave her gas and novocaine for her recent tooth extraction. I ducked out of the room when they actually pulled the teeth. It took about 5 minutes. Rebecca wanted me to stay!

 

ETA: This is my dentist and the girls' new dentist. They saw the dentist at the health department and I don't doubt abuses occurred there. I insisted on being present and the dentist groused about it, but she terrified Rebecca.

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Now, when DS1 had to have some oral surgery to remove a tooth, they didn't allow me in the operating room. They let me stay with him right up until they took him back, and then he was only away from me for a short time. They were really, really nice to him, though; it wasn't a pediatric place (different from our regular dentist), but they were amazing -- multiple people to attend to him during the surgery, the anesthesiologist came to talk to us beforehand, allowed him to bring a stuffed friend and a lightsaber with him, etc.

 

I worked for an oral surgeon many years ago.There are a couple of reasons for this policy. Infection control is one and the other is that we are there to treat the patient, not the parent who passes out on the floor!

Edited by ccm
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We had a great dentist that had chairs for the parents at the foot of the treatment chairs. One time, they suggested it might go better if they took DD back on her own. I think she was having an extraction. She was distraught, and they couldn't get her calmed down, so they came and asked me for help. They never suggested I wait in the waiting room again. When the dentist sold the practice to another dentist, the new dentist had the no parents in the treatment area policy. I argued and was allowed in, but she made me sit where I couldn't see what they were doing. We were there to extract two teeth, and the dentist pulled a third without consulting me. If she's willing to do that when I'm just feet away, what would she do if I was in another room entirely? We never went back.

 

The anxiety I felt about finding a new dentist that would allow me to stay with my kids prevented me from taking them to the dentist for two years.

 

We walked out on an orthodontist because they wouldn't let me back with DD even when it was obvious that she wanted me with her. She was crying at the thought of having to go alone; they saw that and still refused.

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Good reminder to be sympathetic toward children facing the unknown :)

Our dd needs 4 teeth out in a few weeks and I do have a tendency to tell her to be tough (that's how I was raised too.) But the fears are pretty rational.

 

 

I should say, Rebecca just had 3 teeth extracted and did wonderfully. She hardly had any pain and went to gymnastics that evening.

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I'm a dental hygienist. Our office does not allow parents back and 99% of them are fine with it. Parents(often without thinking they are doing this) do not allow their kids to talk when asked a question. I ask jr a question and mom quickly replies. No. If you allow this child to be 100% responsible for their own oral care(and most parents do expect their kids to brush/floss on their own...) they need to answer about their brushing habits and listen to dental care instructions.

 

Kids seem worried and scared UNTIL their parents leave!! They can(even at young ages) handle this situation all on their own. I won't even go into how often the kids are clearly manipulating their parents with a worried look, etc to get icecream, etc after the appointment. It is so much fun to see kids empower themselves and they are so proud of being big enough to have an appointment all to themselves.

 

If it is a problem, then can't you just ask mom politely to shut it? Seems extreme to me to exclude parents out of the room completely because the medical staff feels Mom answers for Jr. too quickly.

 

In my personal opinion, parents (generally) know best. And sometimes parents are wrong, but hey they are the parents after all and I feel that it should be their call. It's also a pet peeve of mine when people say "they were just fine!". I'll be the judge of that, thanks. My kids are rule followers sometimes to a fault and have excellent manners, thus professionals we come in to contact with are quick to label them as "doing fine" when in reality I (or my husband) can easily see by their demeanor or facial expressions that they are not. They won't be the kids who are screaming, resisting, or uncooperative, it simply isn't in their nature to do so in public. They save all of that for us:glare:

 

As an example, we tried public school for the first time this year. Both dd's teachers (kindy and 1st grade) told me how well they were doing, how much they enjoyed having them in class, how cooperative they were. Dd2's gym teacher even called me personally to tell me this. What did I hear at home? "I hate school." "I don't like p.e." "Do I have to go back on Monday?" "I just want to do homeschool again!" Every single hour of every single day for weeks. I observed a couple of times since what they were telling me was so different from what I was hearing from their teachers. Dd1 was stone faced, her perfectionist self was afraid to make any mistake for fear of being (gently, verbally) corrected by the teacher. Dd2 spent copious amounts of her free time in a corner by herself reading books, which is her coping mechanism. It was easy to see why everyone at school assumed they were fine. I would have thought the same had I been in their position. But I am their parent and I know what is normal vs what is not. It is not normal for my 6 year old to throw massive tantrums lasting hours. Daily. Which is what was happening the second we walked in the door coming home from school. But she was doing just fine, the teachers would say. /vent

 

So, if a dentist or hygenist came back proudly telling me that my dd's "did fine" I could not take their word for it. I would know they put on an act of being ok, but I would not know that until we got into the van.

Edited by Lisa3033
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