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I took my 3 year old to our family dentist just to get him used to going and introduce him to the idea. He got to sit on a big-bird chair and watch me get my teeth cleaned. Then it was his turn to sit in the big chair and get a ride, while I sat next to him and held his hand. He was a bit scared, but let the hygenist take a look and polish his upper teeth. He was excited to get the toothbrush and floss afterwards.<br><br>
Well, there was an obvious decay spot, and they told us we'd have to take him to a ped dentist to get it filled. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
There are 3 in our area. I emailed a friend with experience to find out which one is best. But, I know the ped dentists don't "let" parents be there when kids are getting work done. This is not acceptable to me. He's only 3 years old! If he has to go through something rather traumatic, then he needs me by his side so he knows I haven't abandoned him.<br><br>
But, he needs the tooth filled, or the decay could become an abcess and infiltrate his permanent teeth. Can a ped dentist refuse to see him if I insist on going back with him? Do they all use restraints? Has anyone dealt with this? What do you do? Any advice for me?
 

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Definitely call around or interview the dentists. DS2 had to have EXTENSIVE dental work done last year (4 teeth extracted, fillings in 8 teeth). We first went in for a consultation, and I was allowed to stay with DS while they did the xrays and exam. During the actual procedure, I did opt to stay in the waiting room because I had my three other children with me, but DS did surprisingly well without me. I did pop my head in a few times to check on DS, and he was doing just fine.<br><br>
So definitely ask around. It's not a universal policy that pediatric dentists won't allow parents to stay with their kids. Oh, and my kids were never restrained during the dental work (but DS is a really mellow, laid back kid).
 

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What is with this "not letting parents stay" that goes on with dentists????<br><br>
I usually take one of two tacks:<br>
1. Announce before hand that I will be going in and I won't be causing them any problems while there, will stay out of there way and so on. Basically address and dismiss any concerns they may have.<br><br>
2. Say nothing before hand and just go in as if it were the most natural thing in the world - which it IS!<br><br>
If they really baulk and refuse to go ahead with you there, tell them how committed to his dental care you are and can they refer you to another dentist who has no problem with a parent sitting quietly in a chair while they work. The only time I wouldn't stay with my children for a medical procedure is if they are under a general anaesthetic.
 

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Under no circumstances would I ever let my dd have any dental procedure without being there. Period.<br><br>
When I was a little girl, I would throw up and cry my eyes out about going to the dentist. My mother, who was not an AP mom, nor very observant FINALLY took the time to find out WHY I was terrified of going to the dentist. I was relieved to finally be able to tell her that when I would get scared and start to cry, he would cover my mouth and nose and not let me breathe until I agreed to stop crying. He also told me not to tell my parents about it or he would pull my teeth. I was soooo scared. But thankfully, I don't have an aversion to dentists as an adult.<br><br>
I will never let a child of mine in a dentist chair without my direct supervision. They need us there.
 

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Yikes Velochic! While some dentists probably are like that - have the no parents policy so they have free reign on how to stop the child from crying with whatever tactic they want. Others may have just found over time that kids behave better for the dentist than if their parents are in the room because with just the dentist they don't feel safe enough to make a fuss. I'm not defending it, its just my guess as to why they do it that way. I would be really suspicious of anybody who insists my child be alone with them and I have no visibility to the situation.<br><br>
When you say there are only 3 in the 'area', keep in mind that for this it may be worth a longer drive to find someone who is going to have the right approach.
 

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When my Dd was 2, she had a cavity on the biting surface of a molar, in those grooves where there was very little enamel on her tooth. The first dentist wanted to strap her to a papoose board. He said that she may or may not cry the whole time, but it wouldn't hurt and she'd forget about it very quickly.<br><br>
I went through several dentists in my town, a second town, and finally found one 50 minutes away (a long way when there are plenty within 5 minutes). By the time that I found a good dentist--an excellent dentist, actually--her one cavity had turned into 3. This dentist did end up having to sedate her because she was just hysterical after trying a few dentists who wanted to restrain her. But, I was there the whole time and it went very smoothly.<br><br>
She has never had another cavity. A friend of mine went through the exact same thing with her son about 6 months after me and didn't talk to me until she was desperate. Now, her son goes to this other dentist. It sucks because I have to take half a day off from work just to go to the dentist, but it's worth it! My dd loves her dentist, and I think if she ever had a cavity now, she probably wouldn't have to have any sedation.
 

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We have seen two pediatric dentists. Both have parents go into the room as a matter of course until the child is 6. At that point they ask if the parent wants to be in the room.<br><br>
My dd's who are 10, 11 and 13 all go in alone, but they were certainly ready for it when it happened.
 

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I brought ds in to a ped. dentist at age 3, due to a tooth avulsion (he fell and knocked it up into his gum, ouch). They had absolutely no problem with me being in the room right with him. When he had his X-Ray I was able to stand where he could see me and hear me, but far enough away not to get hit by the X-Rays. I ended up really liking the dentist.<br><br>
I wouln't allow my child to see any practitioner "alone" at this age, or even up till age 6 or 7. It's just not going to happen.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>OakBerry</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6743265"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">II wouln't allow my child to see any practitioner "alone" at this age, or even up till age 6 or 7. It's just not going to happen.</div>
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ITA! Our ped is what I consider to be very mainstream, and even he recommends we avoid the dentists that won't let parents come back. He says it's "just not an option" for his kids, either.<br><br>
I'm sorry you're having a tough time finding a dentist you're comfortable with! Good luck with your search!
 

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I encountered two dentists who wouldn't let parents be in the room with kids. When I talked to the third dentist's receptionist, she said, "What is up with THAT?" very indignantly, and assured me that I could stay with my child at their office. Which we will be going to...<br><br>
I don't think they all use restraints. But you may have to search around. There are some really rigid pediatric dentists out there. The first one we saw sat dh and I down and told us about the "toolbox" of strategies he has to get kids to cooperate. "I find it can work really well to threaten that I won't let mom and dad stay with them. Especially if I use my "Daddy voice."<br><br>
Yikes.
 

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Not saying any of you do this....<br><br>
Dh is a dentist who sees a lot of kids. There are parents who seem to think they're the dentist, and want to tell the child what to do, how to do it, when to do it, instead of letting the actual dentist do his/her job. They say things like "now you're going to get a shot and it's going to hurt" even though dh can give injections while distracting the child and a lot of times the child doesn't even know he/she received an injection. And some kids do behave better if mom/dad isn't there to be an "audience" to all the "drama". (For some kids it is scary, but others are just playing it up to the parents, and totally shut it off when the parents leave.) If a parent is misbehaving, dh will give them the choice of leaving the room or he will refer them to a pedo - which is 1 1/2 hours from here. Dh also tells parents that if he is doing something they (the parents) aren't comfortable with, to say stop, and he will end the appt right then and there.<br>
OTOH, I would not leave my children alone, either (except of course with dh). But I wanted you to know the dentists point of view.
 

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my ped dentist has a plaque on his wall that says "sorry for the wait, we're running on kids' time" and parents are definitely allowed back -<br>
i have never seen one wait in the waiting room. he is very patient and gentle - so they are out there, it may just take some searching. but you do not have to let dc go back alone no matter what. stand firm about that! good luck!
 

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Some dentists will give a perscription for something that will calm the child (drug the child) so the dental work goes quickly and isn't as tramatic. If the work is extensive they may also put him to sleep while they work on the tooth. Make sure you ask what they are going to do to keep your child calm during the procedure. I think it would be nicer to drug the child then to tie them down and keep their mouth pried open by force especially if you want him to be comfortable seeing the dentist again, but I haven't had to make that choice and some of the drugs they use have different effects on children then they do on adults.
 

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DD (5) has three cavities<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> . She had her first one filled last month. Our dentist was incredibly kind and gentle - DD was so freaked out and was screaming and crying. She sat on my lap the entire time and he encouraged me to stroke her head and talk to her quietly to calm her down. We opted for the nitrous oxide which worked wonders and it was done very quickly and in a caring way. There are definitely wonderful pediatric dentists out there, I hope you find one!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the input and support. I'm still dreading making an appointment, but at least now I know what I should expect out of a good dentist.
 

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My dd, for some reason unknown to me, was totally freaked out about going to the dentist. She didn't have any cavities (thankfully), but I wanted to set us up with someone whom I would feel better about if she did. So, I went to <a href="http://www.toxicteeth.org" target="_blank">www.toxicteeth.org</a> and found a dentist in our area who doesn't use mercury. And then I just called and talked to them to ensure they were ok with everything that's already been said above. I was so happy with them, and she ended up saying she liked the dentist. Just thought I'd pass that along in case you were interested.
 

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DS really wants to go to the dentist because we have a Dora book about going to the dentist. However, it seems like every dentist in the area has the same ridiculous clap-trap about "allowing my child to experience the dentist guided only by our staff." A very nice way of saying, "no Moms allowed!"<br><br>
I just don't get this. He is 3 years old! I just can't fathom letting him go anywhere to have a medical procedure done without my presence. I'm his parent and it is my responsibility to make sure he is safe and well taken care of. I just don't get it.
 

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We were always present when my son had dental work done at 2 years old. No way would I let them work on him without us there! By the way, watch out for the anti-breastfeeding talk that you'll probably get from the dentist...... ugh, that got on my nerves...<br><br>
Melanie
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeaninevp922</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6743463"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not saying any of you do this....<br><br>
But I wanted you to know the dentists point of view.</div>
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That is part of the job though. If they don't want to deal with parents they shouldn't be a dentist for children because children come with parents. It is the dentist's job to find a way to set limits for parents and work with them to help children.<br><br>
I am familiar with what you posted because I heard it from three different dentists when I tried to find someone to perform a tooth extraction for my son with me in the room. Even though I assured the dentist I would be sitting silently in the corner reading a magazine AND that my child (with disabilities including sensory problems and an ASD) would be calmer and more cooperative if I was in the room, several flat out refused.<br><br>
We finally found someone to work with us. Sure enough my son freaked out for a bit when he first got in the chair. The dental staff was unable to help. I came over, figured out what was bugging him, adjusted it, said two sentences and he was totally calm. The dental staff was amazed that a parent could be helpful like that. Well, of course when you've defined parents as the enemy who must be banished you don't get much chance to see they can be a help. Oh and with planning and me in the corner he did great with the teeth extraction and didn't need a general.<br><br>
My bottom line is this: if as a dentist you can't understand that a young child may be scared at the dentist and scared children deserve to be with their parents...then, you've already indicated you aren't a person I can trust with my child because you don't get it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jeaninevp922</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6743463"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And some kids do behave better if mom/dad isn't there to be an "audience" to all the "drama". (For some kids it is scary, but others are just playing it up to the parents, and totally shut it off when the parents leave.)</div>
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There is another possible interpretation here too. That is that kids feel safe asking for help and comfort from their parents but too terrified when in a strange room with a person who doesn't know them to do so. It doesn't mean the underlying feelings have gone away just that the children are too scared to express them.<br><br>
And, really bothered by the suggestion because SOME children or SOME parents behave in a certain way that all children should lose the right to have their parents there. I mean some people spank their children at the amusement park, does that mean no parents should ever be allowed to go to the amusement park?
 
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