I was taking my child to the pediatric dentist. In the office, I was filling out paperwork and noticed they wanted me to sign an approval form to use restraints. I asked about it and they said they use them every appointment. I left immediately. Why in the world would they need to use restraints on a child? It seems like abuse.
I’m appalled that any dentist would suggest using restraints as a matter of course. It’s unforgivable. I can’t imagine one of those children will want to go to the dentist as adults. Pediatric dentists have two purposes.
First, their job is to keep your children’s teeth and gums happy. But second, and too many dentists who treat children forget this, they are to start children on a lifetime of loving the dentist and making oral hygiene a priority, so they stay healthy. A kind, compassionate dentist and hygienist can change a child’s complete outlook.
That’s what you need for your child.
When are Restraints Necessary?
Before we go any further, you should see what a pediatric restraint is. They’re not shackled in leg and wrist restraints and we often picture when we hear the word restraints. Instead, a papoose board is used. If you’ve ever seen the movie or read the book about Temple Grandin, you can think about it like her hug machine.
When a child is wrapped tightly it comforts them. In most cases, a papoose board isn’t necessary. A good pediatric dentist can get to the root of the child’s fear and help them get past that. Truthfully, at least in the dental chair, most unruliness is driven by fear. In those cases, a dentist also has to be part therapist.
Every once in a while, however, a situation arises when the restraint becomes necessary. If a child needs an emergency dental procedure but is too panicked to cooperate, this will calm them. Not only that, it will prevent them from accidentally harming themselves by thrashing while there is a sharp implement in their vicinity.
When it becomes necessary, many children become so relaxed they fall asleep during the procedure and when they wake up, as Dr. Hall of mynewsmile.com once put it, “part as friends”.
I hope this helps. Find a different dentist for your child.
This blog is brought to you by Fountain Valley Dentist Dr. Tammy Tran. Treating all of Orange County.