The Dentist and your child


<font color=navy>Let me just say "I Love living in
Aug 18, 1999
Our oldest son is 8, and ever since he has been going to the dentist we have gone back in the room with him. Now they said no more, and only the child may go back. Also it is not because of his age, they only want our 4 yr old to go back alone as well.

In this day and age, I have a hard time allowing my kids to go away from me with a stranger (You only see the Dentist 2 times a year and each time its usually a different dental tech).

So we left the office and cancelled all future appointments and found a new dentist that will allow it all the time.

What does everyone think? Am I overreacting?

Thanks for your replies.
I would let my child go back w/o me...BUT to forbid me? Nope, not happening. I would tell them they are fired for that very reason.
I agree with you, I chose my kids dentist because I could go back with them. If they told me I wasn't allowed to, I wouldn't go back.
I would have done exactly what you did! I can see maybe, MAYBE, for the older one, but 4? No way! Whats up with that?
Our dentist also does not allow parents in the exam area, because he said that kids are more cooperative without their parents. The exam rooms are all very open, so I am not concerned.

My son has no problem with it. He is 8 and has been going alone for a few years. When he was very young we went with him.

George, each parent has to do what they are comfortable with, but I think you are overreacting (you asked). :)
No, I don't think you are overreacting, and I would've taken my business elsewhere too!

Our pediatric dentist always allows a parent to attend the dental visit. The only time we step outside the doorway is when they are x-raying, and then you are still within viewing distance of your child.

My boys are 11 and 12 now. I ask them point blank, "do you want me to go back with you, or stay in the waiting room?"

They always want me to go with them.

I know I can't hold their hands forever, and I know the day is soon coming that they'll say "it's okay Mom, you can wait outside."

Until that day comes, I am right there with them!
My kids are 13, 13 & 6 and the older ones have gono back by themselves for quite a while now. My little one has just the ast few visits. I'm not worried b/c the dentist is a childhood friend of DH & we've been patients for years & are very comfortable w/the other employees.
When I was researching dentists I found that is pretty common (going alone) It seems the children often do better without their parents there (I can see that) When my daughter went for the first time (she was a little over 4, I went with her, but that's just the way it was, the Dr. wanted to talk to me about her teeth and I helped explain things to DD and help get her to do things.
For what it's worth I remember being in the dentist chair without any parents present. But not sure about a very young child.
I have 2 DS's, ages 10 and 12. Our dentist has no problem with parents coming back with their kids - the only comment he made was when my younger ds was making too much noise when he was working on older ds and said if he wasn't quiet he'd have to go out to the waiting room, LOL! I usually ask both boys if they want me to go back with them, and they both say yes. Esp. DS12 when he has to have teeth pulled for braces - he needs me there so he can squeeze my hand while the teeth are coming out.

I'm not sure you over-reacted. I would have asked the dentist why suddenly the new policy and if an exception could have been made in your case, esp. for your younger child. We tell our kids not to go off with strangers, and to tell a 4-year-old to go off alone with the dentist sends a mixed message.
Our pediatric dentist allows parents to be present til about age 6. Then he asks that parents remain in the waiting room until they are invited in after the cleaning and exam has been done. The examination room is an open area, with a low wall dividing 2 separate examining chairs. There are at least 2 dental hygenists and the dentist in those areas. I don't have a problem with it at all.

I like the setup and am comfortable with it. I've had another experience I'd like to relate, though.

The last time I was at my dentist office, a child was having 2 baby teeth pulled in another room. The mother was in the room and was as hysterical as the child. She was yelling at the child to sit still and behave. The child was terrified. I was in tears by the end of the session. I don't know who I felt more sorry for - the child, the parent or the dentist. It's an experience I wouldn't want my child to ever go through.

I can't comment on your dentist's wishes not knowing the setup of the office or the confidence you have in the dentist.

I know what works for me, though.

Good luck with your new choice.
My DD has always gone back alone, except for the very 1st visit. The nurses always have come to the waiting room to give us updates, and my daughter does much better without us back there... we just tend to heighten her fears. I see nothing wrong with it.
Our DD#1 will be almost 5 at her next appointment. She will be going back by herself. I feel comfortable with this. There are several other children in the same room as her, there is a circle with several chairs and the kids can see each other. Also, I think she will behave better if I am not there. This is something we discussed at her last visit, I do have the option to be in the back but am choosing to try this.
I don't think you're over-reacting, but I'm over-protective. ;)

I've gone back with my kids, it's up to the kids whether or not they want me there. I don't think the dentist is thrilled with it, but that's too bad.
We have never gone back with my kids and they are 11 and 7. 7 yr old DD just had a baby tooth pulled this morning and went back by herself. They do so much better and LOVE going. The room is open and the Dentist has you come back toward the end to point out stuff to me and to talk about any issues. We are not prohibited though. This is just what they encourage AND it works best with my kids. I think I was traumatized from hearing about the tooth pulling, she thought it was great fun!
My kids have always gone in alone. We go to a small office with 1 dentist and 2 tech people. Everything's open and you can see into the exam room from the waiting area.:D

If you're uncomfortable, definitely find someone that lets you go back with them.
I think you over reacted. That is the policy in many dentist offices. I think eventually you (or anyone)will be hard pressed to find one that will allow you to go in except in the case of a first exam. Of couse it depends on the office too. Around here most offices that are excepting insurance are the big offices that have several dentist and several offices. Most of these large pratices are setting such rules.Now in the case of our dentist (my sister) she has her own small office and does not exceot any PPO/HMO type insurance. She sets her own rules. I don't know her policy for others but we don't even sit in the waiting room. We watch videos in her office LOL.

Anyway if I were you Iwould have asked why the policy changed.
I know when I was younger and went to a pedeatric dentist parents were not allowed in the exam room at all. IT was a huge open room with many stations. I hated it because the screaming of a kid in there would get me nervous. He showed the x rays to, and talked to the parents in his office, not in the exam room.
As a person who had a horrible dental experience as a child, there is no dentist who will tell me I can't go back with my kids if they want me there.

Also, these "open" rooms I am hearing you guys talking about make me *shudder*. I am petrified of the dentist to this day and the last thing I want if I am in the chair is 10 other people looking at me!

Luckily we live in a small town. I had to have a root canal. :( The dentist opened the office on a Sunday and let my Pharmacist DH assist him. I guess rural life has it's advantages!! ;)
I would like to thank everyone for their replies. I think that if the office maybe "Suggested" or "Recommended" that I stay outside, maybe I wouldn't have been so upset. But it was an abrupt policy change and I asked to speak to the dentist himself about it, but the tech and the front desk lady said it was the new policy and that was that and we could not speak to the dentist at all.

But the new dentist office took their time and explained their policies and that no matter what procedure is going on they allow the parent to be there. So we feel better now, we'll have to wait until we actually meet them, since its a month away now (1 month late, but his teeth have been good up till now).

We did call 4 new offices and all of them allowed the parents to go in with the child, we just liked how this office kept reassuring us that we would never be forced out.

Thanks again
You were right to change dentists GeorgeY.. Kids very may to better without parents there.(I know my do) but to not allow parents back there at all is wrong. And no you did not overreact. You are the parent and your the one that protects your kids.
My son's denist told me the same thing but my son takes seizures and stress can bring them on and he wanted me in there as this man is a stranger to him so I told the denist fine we will go elsewhere and we pay cash because my dh has his own business so no dental Ins. boy did he change that policy fast. If my son goes to our regular denist he is comfortable to go back with out me but that is after years of going with me and building trust. I don't think you over reacted.


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