My daughter is autistic. I took her to a pediatric dentist because I thought they’d be better with children. I even paid an extra fee to bring her to the office two weeks before her appointment so she could walk through it. She met the hygienist, but not the dentist. When we got to her actual appointment she had a little trouble sitting in the chair. If they’d have just given her time she would have calmed down. She was scared. Instead they raised their voices at her, which sent her into a tizzy. Then they threatened to put her in restraints. I can’t believe anyone would consider doing that to a child in this century. Have you heard of this or are they some kind of sadistic dental clinic that has been secretely getting away with this?
Annamarie V. – Arizona
I hope you left before they put any restraints on her. Most people who have dental anxiety as an adult can trace its start to a traumatic experience as a child.
The restraining board, called a papoose, has been used in dentistry for many years. They are generally used as a last resort, and for procedures well beyond a mere examination. Before the papoose board dentists try many other thing, including sedation.
Quite honestly I am shocked that they would jump directly to that, especially with an autistic child.
I don’t like to critisize other dentist, but I think a different dentist would be a better fit for your daughter. A pediatric dentist has done some extra study to specialize, but you should also consider a family dentist who likes treating children.
You had a great idea to bring your daughter ahead of time and get her familiar with the surroundings. Wherever you try next, make sure she meets the dentist ahead of time. That way you could see how they interact with her. I’d also ask what kind of experience they have with autistic children. They should understand the need for routine.
This blog is brought to you by Fountain Valley Dentist Dr. Tammy Tran.