Why do so many dentists refuse to allow parents to accompany their kids? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 07-12-2011, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to find a dentist for DS that not only takes our insurance but can get us in before January (that was the wait for just a checkup/cleaning for the children's hospital here). A couple of the offices near here have big disclaimers on their websites - "Parents WILL NOT be permitted to accompany their children in the exam room!"

 

I have serious issues with this. No one would ever consider allowing their kids to go to a regular doctor's appointment alone, much less something that might be scary for the kid like getting a cavity fixed or something like that. So why are dentists so able to get away with it? And what's the justification in the first place? I know if DS had to go alone and get a cavity filled or something without me, he would be totally freaking out. With me there, I'd be able to calm him down and talk him through it. When he was 3 and had a cavity filled, I held his hands so he wouldn't grab at the doctor's hands and talked to him to distract him, and he was totally relaxed and fine the whole time.

 

So what's up with this?


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#2 of 17 Old 07-13-2011, 01:49 AM
 
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Sounds creepy. I wouldn't want to go to the dentist alone sedated! yeah... at my dentist their siblings and parents have been in there with them (it's an open floor plan so you can see everyone pretty much). I wouldn't be ok with it.

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#3 of 17 Old 07-13-2011, 04:52 AM
 
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I have heard it's because so many adults have anxiety about the dentist & the dentists find it easier without parents hovering anxiously making their kid even more upset. Supposedly the kids stay calmer without their parent(s) present.

That's just what I heard, and I 100% disagree with this policy & would not be willing to take my child to such a dentist.

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#4 of 17 Old 07-13-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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One of my children was bouncing all over the chair at the dentist's, really hyper.  A manifestation of anxiety?  I went with him to the first couple of appointments and the dentist could barely get in to see his teeth at all, much less check or clean them.  Then  the dentist told me I had to wait in the waiting room  I was a bit apprehensive, but my ds calmed down like magic, so I feel that the dentist was right to exclude me.  Some children do better without mom there, I guess.

 

Fwiw, my other 2 children were fine with or without me at the dentist, so I don't think I was conveying my own anxieties to my third child.

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#5 of 17 Old 07-13-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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I completely disagree with the policy as a general blanket policy. I refuse to go back to certain dentists because of this policy. I think it should be on a case-by-case basis. Kind of like the "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" (or however it is worded). They don't do that without some kind of reason...

 

That said, I've been with DD and without DD when she had her teeth checked and cleaned. I like dentists (no anxiety to transfer) and DD likes dentists. My issue is about her general comfort level in a new place and/or with new people, especially when she was younger. She's 10 now and I know she would be very vocal if she knew I could hear her and she didn't like something. She also knows I would stay with her if she were uncomfortable and wanted me there regardless of the "rules" (or we would leave). She is at a different stage now where she would prefer to have some autonomy and figure out how to handle some things on her own. I'm fine with that. However, no dentist or other professional is going to dictate that for her or me.


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#6 of 17 Old 07-17-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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I would be hesitant to go to a dentist that does not allow me into the room with my children. (Mine does thankfully.) If one of my kids were not letting them take a peek at their teeth I would be willing to try leaving the room but with the firm understanding that if it distressed the child more the appt was over. 

 

Mine do just fine with me in the room and I really think especially with DD2 she would freak if mommy was not right there. She laid on me for her first appt and loved showing off her teeth lol. I do let my 11 go back alone (have since she was 10) but I check in on her as I please. I do 2 childrens appt at the same time slot so sneak away from the younger as I can. But I didn't even start that till DD1 was comfortable with it.


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#7 of 17 Old 09-06-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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All of my pediatric dentists were abusive to me and my mother had one that was SEVERELY abusive. He would suffocate her if she made a sound. VERY SCARY. I would never, under any circumstances, allow someone to tell me I couldn't be in a room with my own child. That right there would have me out of that office so fast! One of my stipulations for finding a doctor or dentist for DD is that I be allowed in the room with her.


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#8 of 17 Old 09-06-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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I have never heard of this and would never agree to it. The pediatric dentist my ds goes to has one large room with a circus theme. It has 4 "stations" in it for 4 different children to get cleanings/check-ups (though we've been there probably a dozen times and have only ever had 1 other child in that room with ds). Then there are other private rooms for children who are getting work done (cavities filled and whatnot). The staff will take a child alone or with parents, whatever the parent thinks is best.

 

I would never take my child to a doctor or dentist that insisted on being left alone with them.


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#9 of 17 Old 09-06-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I agree with the Op here. I don't like dental folks not giving me a choice. I did have to fish around my neighborhood to find a dentist that would let me sit by my child's side. And after a few visits, I no longer felt I needed to.


I guess the old thinking was that kids would behave better if mom wasn't in the room.
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#10 of 17 Old 09-06-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post

I have never heard of this and would never agree to it. The pediatric dentist my ds goes to has one large room with a circus theme. It has 4 "stations" in it for 4 different children to get cleanings/check-ups (though we've been there probably a dozen times and have only ever had 1 other child in that room with ds). Then there are other private rooms for children who are getting work done (cavities filled and whatnot). The staff will take a child alone or with parents, whatever the parent thinks is best.

 

I would never take my child to a doctor or dentist that insisted on being left alone with them.


Ours is much like this. They encourage the parents to be there with the kids. I can't imagine not being there at this age.

 


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#11 of 17 Old 09-06-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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There's one dentist here that bans parents and there is no way I'd take dd1 there.  Let my kid go off, with a stranger, in a new situation, so they can poke around in her mouth with sharp junk?  She'd bite them and run away.

 

She's going to our family dentist w/me in 6 months b/c that's when I'm due for a cleaning and they won't see her without me, plus they want her to see my exam first so she can see what's going to go on.


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#12 of 17 Old 10-11-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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I have seen many policies like that while looking for a dental practice.


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#13 of 17 Old 10-23-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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I completely agree that a parent should be allowed to be with their child. My FIL is a dentist. He does not allow parents to be there. I questioned this because I want to be with my DS when he goes. He said, "It is almost always worse when parents are there." My FIL and I do not have the best relationship and we completely disagree with my parenting choices. I think he may let my DH back with my child. Should I suck it up and wait in the waiting room even though I want to be there with my son? Being with my DH is better than him being alone right?

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#14 of 17 Old 10-24-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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I would never go to a dentist with this policy.My dentist was like that when I was a kid.He was kind of scary himself,but not too bad,and he didn't yell at me or anything.His assistants were another matter.They would scrape my gums with the sharp tools,and I would cry because it really HURT.I would get yelled at,and get scraped more.I asked for my mom many times but was told no.This was in little private rooms with the doors closed.I was told to shut up and stop crying or I would scare all the other kids,and that I was a monster.This was just the cleanings.The fillings and other work were done in an open room,with other chairs and patients.My parents could kind of see me from the waiting room,and they could hear me,and it was the actual dentist that did the work.I was usually ok for that.But I was terrified of cleanings!

 

My kids' dentist doubles the appt time so both kids can go in at once,and I go in too.They are very nice and have never forced anything on the kids that they were uncomfortable with.There is a mobile dental truck that goes to my kids' schools.It is run by the same practice,but they don't tell you when the appt is,and the parents can't go,since it's during the school day.Umm,NO.I'll go to the office thank you.I guess it's good for working parents who really can't take time off,but I just can't leave my kids with any medical professional alone.I've had too many bad experiences with both dentists and drs to allow that.


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#15 of 17 Old 11-22-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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Wow, I'm really surprised.  I'm still pregnant with my first child, but as a nanny, I have been to multiple dentists with children.  There mother and I actually both went in to the exam room.  This seemed to be common practice, and the youngest children were even offered to sit on their mothers' laps during the exam.

 

Unless this is a sick tactic to allow abuse (of what kind I shudder to think), the only possible legitimate reason I can see is that children tend to act more babyish and defiant around their parents than around other adults.  I don't think this is a good enough reason to make it a blanket policy, though.

 

The good news is that most offices do not seem to have this practice, which makes me know you'll find a good one soon.  Good luck!

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#16 of 17 Old 01-18-2012, 03:04 PM
 
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Honestly, I don't like it at all.  I would not go to a dentist that required that, or my ss number.  lol.  I just had a visit and told them I was going back with kids.  I was trying a new dentist, but didn't care for this one and going back to my old dentist and he doesn't mind at all if parents go back.  

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#17 of 17 Old 01-18-2012, 03:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robynholly View Post

I completely agree that a parent should be allowed to be with their child. My FIL is a dentist. He does not allow parents to be there. I questioned this because I want to be with my DS when he goes. He said, "It is almost always worse when parents are there." My FIL and I do not have the best relationship and we completely disagree with my parenting choices. I think he may let my DH back with my child. Should I suck it up and wait in the waiting room even though I want to be there with my son? Being with my DH is better than him being alone right?

 

You really don't have to (shouldn't, even) put your FIL's feelings or preferences over your child. If he can't handle you being in the room with DS, then get another dentist. For real. If he has a problem with it, too bad. My kid comes first, waaaaay before some cranky uptight FIL.

 

While I can possibly imagine a case here or there where a child might be better off with mom in the waiting room (I'm thinking of highly anxious, hypochondriac type moms for the most part), most kids are better off with a parent with them. My DH and my MIL each had abusive dentists, so I know it's a fact that some dentists just do whatever makes their job as easy as possible without regard for the children, and then blame the children when the children come out crying. DH's childhood dentist would yell at him to shut up and take it like a man (to a 4 year old), and then would tell MIL that "it didn't hurt at all, he's making it up" and unfortunately MIL, who had an abusive dentist herself thought it was normal and had to be that way. As an adult, DH avoids dentists, so that experience had lifelong effects.

 

In my opinion, a dentist who finds it's almost always worse with a parent present is a lousy dentist. What they really mean is that they have no idea how to handle a child, and it's worse with a parent around because they can't do what they normally do to deal with it - whatever that might be (yelling at the kid, having their assistant hold them down screaming while they work, whatever).

 

We have actually witnessed such behavior from a dentist WHILE DH AND I WERE IN THE ROOM. After 5 minutes of this (way too long, but we froze up) DH stopped the procedure, had words with the dentist, and we left.

 

THANKFULLY, after trying 4 different dentists for DD, we have a GREAT one. She expects parents to come in the room, and it all goes really well. She's a mom herself. What makes visits go wrong, in our experience, is a lousy dentist - not parents in the room.


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