Not sure if this is the norm with most dentists......

[deleted account] ( 13 moms have responded )

I took my 5 yr old son to the dentist for the first time today. I took him to a different dentist than the one I have always used with my daughter because that dentist is no longer in our network for our insurance.

First, when we arrived at the office it was not "kid-friendly" at all. Just a cold, bare room. Not even any books for the kids to look at. Then, when they called my son's name I got up to go with him and the dental assistant told me I wasn't allowed back there. I told her that it was his first time at the dentist and I would like to meet the dentist. She replied with "Well, you'll get to meet him" I said that I preferred to meet him FIRST before he goes poking around in my sons mouth so she got all huffy and told me to hold on (still not letting me go back to the exam area). Then the dentist comes out and says "What do you need?" I told him that I just wanted to meet him before they took my son back and that I preferred to be present for his exam and he told me that they probably would only be doing xrays today. About 10 min later my son comes out with the dental assistant and she calls me over to tell me that they are giving him a referral to go have the damaged tooth fixed. So, I said "it's bad enough that he needs oral surgeon? I just thought it was a cavity." She says, "no not a surgeon, a dentist. It probably just needs to be filled" So, then I was really confused. "You are a dentist office but you don't perform routine fillings?" Her, "No, we don't do anything that requires a local or general anesthetic." Seriously? What bothered me even more was that the dentist homself didn't speak to me and give me the diagnosis. Then she just kept looking at my sons xrays and telling me that he never had baby teeth and stuff like that.

Our other dentist always took the time to talk with me and never had a problem with me going in. I got to sit right there and watch her pull my daughters tooth. I was just wondering if it was normal for a dentist to not allow you back with your child. To me it should be no different than the doctor. The doctor doesn't make you stay in the waiting room while they examine your child and a five year old isn't capable of making sure the dentist is using sterile instruments and such.

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[deleted account]

I wouldn't be going back to that dentist. My girls have been going to the dentist since they were 3... they are almost 9 now and I'll still go watch what's going on (when I can... harder w/ a 2 year old watching too).

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13 Comments

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Deborah - posted on 01/20/2012

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Yeah i wouldn't go to that place again, and I"m not really sure they can prevent you from going back to observe the exam. You're his parent, he's a minor.



I know my dentist prefers not to have parents go back, but that's because of space I think, or because children get more nervous if their parents are there. I was very familiar and comfortable with my dentist so I had no problems letting my daughter (3) go back alone, I thought it would make her feel 'like a big girl' to do it on her own instead of having me hold her hand the entire time. My dentist is absolutely WONDERFUL, she is the first one I've gone to that makes me not mind going to my dentist appointments. I work hard to promote my daughter's independence, but if I had never met the dentist, there is NO way I would have let her go back by herself. I would have left. I don't trust people with my kids though...I'm really paranoid about that.

Tina - posted on 01/20/2012

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I wouldn't go back to a dentist like that he's more likely to cause more problems for your sons teeth. There are some that just use children for giney pig basically they use them to practice and learn which is probably part of the reason they didn't want you in there with your son. My dad knows of a dentist who drilled perfectly healthy teeth. Honestly I'd go with your instincts if you're not comfortable with your new dentist. I would trust that feeling.

Gretchen - posted on 01/20/2012

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I would never go back to that dentist....quack! My peds dentist is great. She even wears puppets on her hands to put my son at ease. It is 'Dr Bear" or "Dr. Pony" checking his teeth. He plays with the animal's head, etc. really cute!!! Does not realize his teeth are being cleaned. I get tips to...Dr. Bear will say, "mom make sure to spend time on the back teeth!" I know if sounds goofy.....the concept works!

Deborah - posted on 10/15/2010

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I am in the UK & I always accompany my children in the dentist's room! If I was you I would change dentist asap & possibly complain about the service or lack of! My children are nearly 5 & nearly 7. I have never heard of a child having to have a dentist look at their teeth unaccompanied by a parent/guardian in the UK & do not think that is acceptable practice at all

Sherri - posted on 10/15/2010

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That is interesting Louise. If children have cavities in the US even for baby teeth they are always filled. They say if cavity gets to bad they will damage the adult teeth underneath.

Louise - posted on 10/15/2010

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From your post I think you are American so I am not sure on the norm over there but here you never let your child out of your sight and some dentists like you to have your child on your lap if they are nervous. Most dentists are drab looking places and not really kid friendly but the waiting room does normally have books and toys for the children. In the uk dentists do not tend to fill baby teeth as they have no nerves in them so should not cause pain or discomfort. If I were you I would get a second opinion before any treatment takes place

Sherri - posted on 10/14/2010

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Any dentist I have ever gone to for my kids has never allowed parents back either. They do allow for the first visit which is typically at 3 yrs old. However, after that no parents allowed. They find that the children don't do as well with the parents present and they do much better when parents wait in the waiting room. I do see the logic in this but it seems that dentists office was extra rude. I would try and locate another one obviously this didn't work out so just find another that does. When my son was 5 they were doing his fluoride treatment and he vomited and they told him if it happened again they would make him clean it. We never went back again and found another dentist.

Betty - posted on 10/14/2010

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No that is not normal. You should shop around and have a breif interview with a few different dentists before choosing one for your son. Good luck with his tooth.

Tracy - posted on 10/14/2010

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Yeah, I would have walked out when they refused me to accompany my child. Not to mention a cold, dull waiting room? The service sounds pretty crappy too. Surly hygienist, surly dentist, then they can't even perform actual dentistry? Something tells me all is not right with his licensing if they can't have locals to perform basic cavity fills..... I'd check into him, and DEFINITELY never ever go back.

[deleted account]

It was a children's dentist!!! And like I said, we had one that we previously used that was great but she is no longer in the network for our insurance but I will def be ok with paying the little bit extra to take them to her. I would be ok with them going back alone if we had been there before and they were comfortable. He was very nervous and didn't want me to leave him. Plus, I want to be able to see that they are doing things like washing their hands when they come in the room and using sterile instruments. I was freaked out by the whole situation. We will never go back there. I mean, what's the point of going to a dentist that won't even do a filling!?!

Jessica - posted on 10/14/2010

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Well first you might want to get into a children's dentist. A lot of times Dentists wont work with children when they need any thing more then just a routine exam. I took my little sister to the dentist for the first time and after they saw her teeth the refered us to a children's dentist. I took her to the children's dentist and she came out and met me herself. She said that they like to take them back by themselves so that they can learn to trust them and that if she needed me to be back there that they would come get me. I was completely comfortable allowing her to go back there without me. She was fine without me and had to have 4 caps put on her teeth b/c they didn't develop any enamel and she was fine each time going back there by herself. I believe she was 3 and a half or 4. My son now goes back in to see the Dentist by himself and he is perfectly fine. I wouldn't trust that Dentist tho!! That is completely wrong.

C. - posted on 10/14/2010

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Umm.. No. I haven't taken my son to the dentist yet, but I can tell you one thing. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY is going to keep me from going in the exam room anywhere (dentist or doctor) with my son when he's under 16. NO ONE.



That just doesn't sound right at all. Honestly, I would be concerned. There's no reason they should keep the parent from going in the room with a small child.

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