101 answers

I'm Not Allowed "In" at the 4 Year Dentist Appt?

I actually did the right thing by taking my girls to their first dentist appointment when they turned 3. We are now a year later and I booked their 4 year appointment with a pediatric dentist that I really liked last year. When I asked them what to prepare my girls for, they said that I will be in the waiting room while they go in alone for X-rays and a cleaning and I will be called in at the end to talk to the dentist.

WHAT? I didn't initially react because I figure a pediatric dentist knows what's right for my kid, but it concerns me that I'm not allowed to join them if they're trepidatious or concerned. I even went so far as to ask what happens if they're afraid or crying and they said that I still wasn't allowed to go back while these procedures were taking place.

Does anyone else have an experience like this? Should I cancel the appointment and go with a regular dentist? I live in a very remote area and the closest pediatric dentist is an hour away, so I'd be reliant upon a regular dentist if I cancel this appt. Would love to hear your experiences. thanks in advance.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow - this is my first post on this site and I'm overwhelmed by the responses. Thank you to all of you.
I called the pediatric dentist to get more information and they were ADAMANT that I not go with them, even if they were upset. The receptionist told me that the dentist will not bend his rules, ever, even when she and the hygenists are cringing (though she claims that rarely happens). Well - I obviously cancelled my appointment and even went so far as to tell her that if I didn't know the facility (all open), I would fear that this dentist was a pedophile. She was kind and thorough in her description of their reasoning behind this policy, but also reaffirmed that a mother knows best, but I am SO glad that I thought twice about this. Thank you to all of you for your words of wisdom and for reassuring me that my mommy radar is always right.

Featured Answers

Ridiculous if you ask me.
I had to step out of the room when my son was getting his xrays, I just stepped out and he left the door open. I would not let me children go in without me. That's it, simple as that. If they don't like that then I would change dentists.
JMO though, it would be PITA to have to change and drive an hr but it would be worth it for me.


1 mom found this helpful

You should be able to be present for an appointment at this age, if you and they want it! They are too young to be in on their own. I am still present for all of my daughter's doctor and dentist visits and she is 8 now. We just go to a regular "family" dentist and I find that he is very good with the children as well as with adults!

1 mom found this helpful

I would find a new dentist! That sounds a bit fishy to me. My daughter needed teeth pulled before her first set of braces. She was 9 at the time the Dentist told me I couldn't stay in the room. I told him we would find a new dentist if that was the case. The ended up letting me stay. It was a very scary experience for my daughter I would not have left her alone.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Cancel your appointment and go with a regular dentist. A regular dentist can handle any age. My mother is a hygenist and has been cleaning teeth for over 40 years - she has never heard of this with children - in fact, they rely on the parents to help with the children's fears - usually the book a cleaning for the mom the same day as the children so they can watch mommy get a cleaning first - you should try that. If you bring your child to the pediatric dentist and leave them by themselves they could lose their trust in you for leaving them alone with a stranger. That is an absolutely insane practice and not fair to the children. My son is 1 1/2 and I intend on bringing him to my dentist who handles all ages of patients.

2 moms found this helpful

Ive been taking my girls to the pediatric dentist since 3yo. The nurse always invites me to sit with them in the room. When they do xrays I just step out of the room for a minute. I find it a bit strange for a pediatric dentist to not allow the parent in the room. Its scarey for young kids to be without M. around strangers, esp. doctors. I would think that a regular dentist knows about a childs teeth so maybe try your dentist. Atleast you & your child will feel more at ease knowing whats going on in the room.

1 mom found this helpful

Red flag, red flag, red flag! Get a new dentist! This is not ok.

If you cannot get a new dentist than you can stand right outside the office door during the x-rays but you absolutely must be physically in that room during the cleaning. All parents are asked to step out of the room during an x-ray. That is common sense. But you do not need to wait in the waiting room.

Perhaps they made this policy because of an out of line parent but that does not make it ok. If they have nothing to hide than you have every right to be there. It is ok if you children see a regular dentist.


1 mom found this helpful

Just wanted to share a ped. dentist story that I took my twins girls to when they were 3. I was allowed to stay with them, but when one was frightened, was told to hold her down and he would clean her teeth while she cried, because her mouth was open. He made little to no effort to make her comfortable and I was shocked. I later learned from a neighbor that the same dentist, who is supposed to be an expert in treating children, sent her out of the room during a visit and was later told by her son that he and the assistant held him up against the wall in order to administer anesthesia. This child was traumatized and is now terrified of dentists.

We found another dentist who treats both adults and children, but is wonderfully patient and caring. He spent 30 minutes just giving my daughters a tour of the office and making them comfortable even before we had an appointment. A general dentist can do a wonderful job with kids.

Please do NOT let your child go in alone, but do take care not to transfer any of your own fears during the visit. If your daughters want to feel "big" they can sit in the chair by themselves while you sit off in the corner.

1 mom found this helpful

A.-I'm with you, i would not feel comfortable not being in the room with my children. It seems odd to me that you would not be let in. I've had my teeth cleaned and doesn't seem particularly dangerous for "onlookers". can you call around to other pediactric dentists to see if that is their policy too? my oldest is not quite 3 yet so we are no there yet. i would seriously think about seeing someone else. you still go in for regular doctor check-ups, right? why would you not here with all sorts of mechanical scary sounding instruments???? good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

That's BS!! Go to a different Pediatric dentist. When I took my kids to a Ped's dentist you bet I was in the room. I stepped out, just like they do to take x-rays and right back in I went after the click of the xray machine. You are always allowed "in". This is not psyco-therapy, it's a dentist. I have 2 older kids (19 and 21) and am the proud mother of twin boys (10 months - not identical). I too work a full time job and try to balance both home and work. Good Luck, Get another dentist.

1 mom found this helpful

I would change Dentist's. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot be there when your child is in any kind of Doctor's or Dentist's office. Be calm and reassuring to your child, it will not affect their independence.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with what alot of people have already said. It doesn't sound right that the dentist doesn't "allow" you in the room. I have a pediatric dentist as well and the whole office staff is great - very accomodating to parents being in the room. Four years old is way to young to be left alone with strangers poking around in their mouth. Just my opinion.

YOU are paying THEM. They rely on you to buy their service to earn a living. You have the right as a parent and a customer to set the rules. My daughter has had xrays at the hospital and I have always gone in - I just had to wear a vest. There isn't a reason why they should deny you. I would tell them that you either go in with them or they lose you as a customer. I would even go so far as to tell them that you will recommend to all your friends and family to avoid their practice as well. (I am a little outspoken) They may cave pretty quickly.

Bottom line is tf ollow your instincts. It is called mother's intuition and is almost always right!

1 mom found this helpful

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