Here is a letter we received from a woman who is not a patient of ours. We’re assuming she sent it to many dentists. I understand her feelings. I thought I would print this, along with the perspective some dentists probably carry with regards to this issue.
I have concerns when a dentist doesn’t allow me to go back to the operatory. I wanted to give the perspective of a mother. I do not speak for all mothers. In fact, some mothers probably find not going back to the operatory a little bit of a break for them. I am not one of them. It makes me very nervous. Let me explain why.
I know my child better than anyone. I know, as a dentist, you have a lot of experience dealing with children in these situations, but I have much more experience with my son. I know his personality. In our situation, he is someone who likes to be prepared ahead of time. If he knows what to expect, he’ll be fearless. If things aren’t explained to him, he panics. He also does better if I am sitting near him. I realize that is not the case with all children. In fact, I have a daughter who prefers to be alone when she faces something new. To be accompanied on an “expedition” would to her be considered a personal failure. However, as their mother, I am the one who is in the best position to make that decision.
I’ll mention something else, in my mind, when you don’t want a parent back there, I have this little voice that wonders what it is that you don’t want me to see. Are you going to be harsh with my child? Or do you have something else to hide?
Hopefully you will be more compassion when it comes to a mother’s feeling regarding being with her children.
Thank you, A frustrated Mother
If I could respond to this mother, here is what I’d say.
Dear Frustrated Mother,
Thank you very much for sharing your feelings. It really helps to hear the perspective of the moms. I can tell you are a fantastic mother. Bear in mind that each pediatric dentist has a different policy when it comes to the way they want parents to participate in their child’s treatment.
I will tell you that we’ve sometimes had moms who have a dental anxiety. Without meaning to, they were signaling their fear to their child, which caused the child to have fear they would not have otherwise had.
Other times, and this isn’t very often, we have a mom that is more difficult than the child.
Remember, the key is finding a relationship between dentist and patient that works for both. If being in the operatory with your child is important to you, and the dentist is unwilling to work with you, my suggestion would be to find a different dentist, as quickly as possible.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Raymond Bolt.