I was just told my daughter needs 2 root canals.... I feel like such a bad mother! I was also told that I will not be able to be in the room with her. What are my rights as a mother to there for my child? She is 4 1/2 and feel terrible about leaving her alone through this tramatic experience. Please help and send advise. Could I tell the Dentist that I need to be in the room with her?
There is no way they can be allowed to not let you in the room, legally. I mean, I don't know that for a fact, but seriously! With all the "bad things" you hear about nowadays, you have every right to be worried, especially if she is going to be "under". If I were you, I would call around and find a clinic who WILL allow you to be there...
I don't know what the law states, but if a dentist told me that I couldn't be in the room with my 4 1/2 year old - I'd go to a different dentist. I have 2 great dentists. One in Mar Vista and one in Beverly Hills. Write back if you'd like the names.
Why is she needing the root canal, can you tell us?
Is it really necessary?
Perhaps, you can get a 2nd opinion...
Will she be put under local anesthesia or have the "laughing gas" or any other option to "relax" her?
Perhaps, please provide more information...that way the knowledgeable Moms here can offer more advice or experience.
First, you are not a bad mother because your child needs to have two root canals!!! You are taking care of her and having them done. We had a similar situation with the pediatric dentist we had regarding one of us being in the room during a similar procedure. They even wanted us to put our daughter under general anesthesia which meant we had to pay for an anesthesiologist! At the time that was $800, much more now and of course the dentist's fee. We found a new dentist immediately. Our daughter did not need to be sedated under general anesthesia, they gave her laughing gas and she was awake through the entire procedure. The dentist allowed me to stay in the room behind a counter sitting on a stool and my daughter knew I was there. I was not in the way of the dentist or assistant and I just sat quietly, watching them work on my child. It went very quickly and it was a crown for one tooth and a cavity they were filling, at the time she was 3 1/2 years old. She watched a movie on the DVD ceiling screen and we left there as happy as she was before we got there. No tears, a little apprehension, but she knew I was sitting right behind her the whole time and she knew I couldn't be in the way of the dentist because the dentist needed the light to see into her mouth. I was so glad we had changed dentists, no stress for my child or me! Something to note here. You are paying the dentist for the work he/she is doing. In essence they are working for you! If you disagree with how they run their dentist office you have every right to find a new dentist who is more inclined to let you be there. They have the parents leave because it is easier for them to perform their job. No child should be left alone to have this done and the crying usually begins because mom or dad is not there. You do have to step back and let them do their work, but there is no reason you cannot be nearby. I would find a new dentist and wait until you are comfortable. You are probably being told this is something you have to get done immediately, but it can wait a few days to find someone new. Charlotte Roberson, D.D.S. in Northridge is who I used. It's a small ofice off the beaten track recommended by my dentist in Encino who I have gone to for 30 years. Being a woman dentist made the whole thing easier and the women in the office were so sweet and kind. My child was happy and didn't feel a thing and never had a problem again. Don't let the dentist you are going to make you feel uncomfortable. this is your child and you will do what is best. Good luck and remember you don't have to agree to the terms of your current dentist. You have choices.
Hello J.. I felt compelled to reply to your post not only because I was a dental assistant many years ago, but also because my first born had a truck load of problems with her teeth. First off, I think 4 1/2 is too young for a root canal, unless, and only unless, the root canals are being performed on her permanent teeth. Secondly, you CAN be in the room with your daughter, however, it is strongly preferred that you not be there. For some reason, having a parent in with the child increases anxiety, and it has been shown that children, even ones that are scared of the dentist, are far more cooperative if their parents are NOT in the room with them. With a parent in the room, the child, whether screaming/crying or not, will always turn to look at the parent. Since the dentist has to be on one side, and the assistant on the other, there really isn't a lot of room for the parent to view in the view of the child, making it difficult for everyone. The dentist has to maneuver around the apunparent, as does the assistant, and like I said, the child is constantly visually "rooting" (for lack of a better word, kind of like breastfeeding lol) for the parent, making them anxious when they are out of reach, even if they are in the room. Like I said, IF this procedure is necessary, meaning it is going to be done on permanent teeth, make sure your daughter is comfortable with the dentist, and that the dentist is one that is familiar with children, if he is not a pediatric dentist. My daughter had the WORST experiece with dentists when she was younger, and cried and had a fit every time we had to go. I finally found a dentist outside of our insurance network that was great with her. I've had to pay out of pocket all these years, but it was worth it to me because she didn't freak out, and loves him and more importantly trusts him, and now will actually get in the car when I say we are going to the dentist! BEST of luck to you!!!
By law, a minor (especially small children) must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian... I just had to give a signed consent allowing for my father to be in the room as the adult during my son's recent extraction 2 fridays ago.... IT IS THE LAW...
Take your child to another dentist... I can give you the contact info for our son's child dentist...
YOU HAVE RIGHTS AS A PARENT...
I must warn you, they tie the children down with velcro straps to ensure they don't move... but that's the harshest part...
my son has had 4 root canals... and no that doesn't make you a bad parent... just means they had baby milk teeth that did not last until their regular teeth came out... my son also fell and broke 2 of the 4 front teeth which he had extractions for.
Good luck and let me know if you need that contact info for my son's dentist located in west covina off the 10fwy.
I have never heard of a 4 1/2 year old going through root canal work. Not only does this procedure take a considerable amount of time in the chair,but its not exactly cheap either. She would have to have caps put on those,after the root canals. Because she hasn't lost her baby teeth as yet,and still has her adult teeth to come in,I'd think root canals and caps,is going a bit overboard! It won't be that long,before she will be losing those teeth,you payed big bucks to save. I would get a second opinion,before I put my young child through such an ordeal. I'll tell you what J.. My son broke his arm as a teen,then fell on it,while in his cast! He was in excruciating pain.The Doctor had to reset it,and told me he preferred I stayed out of the room.I looked at my son,and asked" Do you want me to stay here with you? He said "Yes mom I do" I looked at the Doctor and told him "I wasn't going anywhere!J.,if you find you must go through with it.You stand firm.Your child depends on you,to be there when she needs your support. That's your daughter,your paying the bill.You tell the Doctor your staying in the room with your daughter or the procedure doesn't get done.: ) I wish you and your lil sweetheart the best. J. M
I don't know what the guidelines are here in Nevada, but I do know in California a parent must be present in most cases. However, a root canal is to the best of my knowledge is similar to a surgery and some dentists will allow this. At 4 1/2 your daughter is so young and her teeth are quickly becoming adult teeth. If I were you I would insist on being in the room while he/she is working on my child to be sure that he/she is not screwing up. You could also speak to an attorney and find out what your rights are when dealing with a dentist, since many times it is the dentist's choice to not have parents in during this procedure. I have had a couple of root canals, and they are not all that bad, but with a small child involved I would insist and quote what advice you got from an attorney about this matter. I hope this helps. Good Luck!
Root canal on baby teeth? Mmmmm, that sounds odd. Anyway, to asnwer your question: Of course you can choose to be there with your child. I would not leave my child alone in that room with a dentist for anything in the world! But you should consider a second opinion from a pediatric dentist in case you don't already have one. Good luck.
You need to find a new dentist. When my kids were younger (they are all teenagers or older now) we had a great pediatric dentist. He would not treat my children without me in the room with them. He talks with them, reassuring them the whole time he is working.
My 5 year old niece had 2 root canals last week. My mother and brother were with her. There is no reason you can't be in the room. You can put on a mask if germs are the issue. If the Dentist says no, find another Dentist that is better at meeting your needs. I wouldn't want to leave my son alone for that type of procedure either.
Good luck! You don't say where you live but I could recommend my Dentist if you live near the San Fernando Valley.
I've worked in the dental field (Billing) and have seen it all. It's always better for the parent to wait outside. My daughter had crowns done in the front teeth.. she's 2 yrs.old. I also had to wait. As long as everything is explained beforehand and you know your dentist well enough to trust him... you'll be fine. It's hard (of course) but it's normal.. she will be under nitous oxide and the the majority of time it's done before you know it. My daughter was out about 40 minutes later and a technician came out twice to tell me how it was going in there. A baby pulpotamy will be alot of work.. leave it to the experts and wait patiently.. Good Luck
Hi J.. Don't be too hard on yourself. My daughter had a root canal done 3 months ago. She just turned 4. They had to put her under, which was the hardest part of it for me. They had me hold her while they quickly gave her a shot on the leg. She went under slowly in my arms. Then they took her away inside. If your daughter is going to be under anesthesia, she'll be out anyway and you won't be able to do anything for her in there. They'll probably call you in after the procedure and let you be the first one she sees when she wakes up. It'll be okay.
It is absolutely your right as a parent to be in the room for a root canal! It is not an operating room, no special scrub in, so there is no reason you can't be there provided you don't "get in the way". If your dentist refuses, FIND A NEW ONE! Never let a doctor of any kind bully you into something that doesn't feel right to you. Take your business and money elsewhere! Good for you for standing up for your child's best interests. I've seen WAY too many stories of dentists doing far more then necessary just for the extra ins moneys. Don't let your daughter be another statistic!
There is a great wholistic dentist you could see if you'd like for a 2nd opinion. His name is Dr. Al Fallah, DDS, FICCMO ###-###-####) - he's off of Garden View Road by AAA in Encinitas. I bet you could even call his office and just ask what he thinks.
Last year my 5 year needed to get 2 baby root canals done. They told me I could not be in the room. I hated it. I think it just depends on your dentist. Some dentist will let you be in the room and others will not.
Recently it was either 20/20 or Dateline that did a story on child dentists. The story centered on what goes on in dental offices when the parent must wait in the waiting room. It was not uncommon for the child to be strapped down with a straight jacket device put on the child so that they were unable to move if they felt pain. Their heads were held down and they continued to scream in pain while the dentist calmly drilled away and the parents waited obliviously in the waiting room. These were all children between the ages of 4-12 getting dental work down, including root canals and in come cases the dentist went in and did much more work than the parent was aware of until the child returned to the waiting room. The purpose of the segment was to teach parents that if a dentist does not want you in the patient room, change dentists. The reason many dentists require this in most cases is so that the child is not distracted from getting the procedure done, and if there is pain the parent's instinct is to interfere...but you don't want your child to fear the dentist nor should you and you have THE RIGHT to be in there with your child. There are many good dentists who allow parents in the patient room and you should absolutely be there for your child. Explain to your child that the procedure will hurt some but that you will be RIGHT THERE to watch over them which should help in some way put them at ease that they are not left with an unsympathetic stranger who just wants to get their job done. Good luck.
My daughter has never had a root canal, however...my dentist has a open door policy . I have never left her in the room alone. Please make sure you are in that room...it sounds like it's going to be very traumatic...she will need you there...even if it's just knowing you are in the room.
Hi! I have compassion on you. My daughter had to be put to sleep for dental work. They let me stay with her until she fell asleep, then they had me wait in the waiting room Quite frankly, I am very disappointed with Pediatric dentistry. We went through several dentist before finding one that I could allow my children to see on a regular basis. My daughter did fine. I do think you should get a second opinion. Everyone I know has problems with root canals later. I opted out of some of the dental work they suggested. Even though they would prefer that you keep quite, you do have a right to deny the work.
GET A SECOND OPINION. When my daughter was about the age of yours she fell, and broke her front tooth. The first dentist I took her to said she needed a root canal. I went to Oak Park Dentistry in Agoura ###-###-####. They told me it was absurd to do a painful procedure on a child that age. They told me we'd just watch it, and if the tooth became painful it would be removed - after all, it's a baby tooth. When my daughter was about 7 it abcessed, and was pulled. BTW, I was with her the whole time.
My friend just was told the same thing about her 5 year old. She took her for a second opinion (same dentist) and they advised her the same way they did me.
I would not ever use this dentist. It's absurd to make a child endure this, and even worse is the idea that you should not be there. Good luck.
Well what a dilema, I too wasin this position, it onlymade matters worse, traumatized my son, however Ifoundanother dentist that was mor cooperative and unfortunately my son is fit to be tied but at leatr Im there and it isnt "as traumatic" as itwould be alone. Also in this world your cant trust anyone alone with your children, we are their voices since theyare too small to speak out. Be a strong mom the dentist works for you not vice versa. Plus with tough economic times there are manyother childrens dentist that would happily take your child. Let me know what area your in maybe I can recomendthe wonderful dentist my son goes to.Also ifyou have dental insurance and this work has already been authorized, you can request a copy of this authorization to any dentist of your choice your not obligated to do the work there the onlyoutofpocket expence you may incur is extra x-rays. God bless I'llpray for you and your family
Yes tell your dentist you want to be in the room with her! My sister has 2 beautiful babies that are so afraid of the dentist! She sits with them and holds their hands just for a teeth cleaning! You might need a new dentist if they don't let you! But I really don't see why not!!
Seems there are a lot of pediatric dentists recommending root canals, and this was anathema when I was young. Maybe this is a way for them to earn more money since little children don't have the dental problems older folks have. Also, it astonishes me that dentist don't read the studies that show small children who have been knocked out for surgeries more than once have a higher chance at developing learning disabilities later on.
This isn't only about teeth, it is about the developing brain as well.
Can't you pull the teeth? Baby teeth are kind of meant to fall apart early. I would never allow my child to be under without me present. No way. Obviously, you're going to get a second opinion, and a third and a fourth until you get an answer that feels right. Times are hard for everyone. Dentists need to make money. Follow your gut.
As a mother of three and a former dental assistant for 25 years, I unsterstand both sides of the problem. First, as a mother, don't beat yourself up, it happens, your not a bad mommy. Second as a dental professinal, we as a profession sometimes need to talk to the patient/parent in their terms. If the dentist get to technical, the you may not totally understand. My guess, having done this for a loooong while is that he is doing what is called a "Pulpotomy" or baby rootcanal. It is where we need to numb the patient (yes a shot) and we go into the the tooth (drill) to remove the nerve (pulp). A medication is placed into the tooth and a "permanent restoration" (for the life of the baby tooth) either a filling or a stainless steel crown is placed. This is helped to save the tooth so the new/permanent tooth has its "spot" reserved. Worse case senario, like in all rootcanal treatments is failure. If that happens, then they will extract(pull) the tooth and a space maintainer is placed. Third, as to not being allowed in the room, I understand both sides. For the dental side, and being a mom, I don't go into the room for the treatment, BUT I walk them back and sit with them until the detntist is ready. Believe me, ANY anxiety you feel, you radiate that to your child either through body language or facial expression. Also the child is constantly wanting to look at you. If the child is being sedated either through laughing gas or total sedation, they may papoose "strap" her down to protect her and the dental staff. Please remember that we use sharp instruments that can do damage to your child and the dental team. If you are seeing a pediatric dentist, there probably is not much lea way in being with her, but alot of general dentist will allow you to come back. I would walk her back and sit until she get the "shot", then go back with her then when they are ready to start, let them start alone, then go back and forth to check on her. Most general dentist will allow that or let you sit if your daughter exhibits behavior that allows them to work. Hope this works for you. I know alot recommended a second opinion, if it makes you feel better, you may find a dentist you like and trust.
I agree about getting a second opinion. I have never heard of a child getting a root canal, and I recently heard a radio program by a dentist who talked about how people can have severe allergic reactions to the metal from a root canal and it can cause all kinds of health problems (here's the program: http://newdaytalkradio.com/shows/nhr.htm).
I would also switch dentists if they won't let you be with your daughter. It's not right that you can't hold her hand. If you'll be in the way, then at least you could sit by her feet and stroke her legs.
i assume she will be under anestheia? She wont know you are not there. Is it being done at a hospital? there is no way a hospital will let you in the OR. In a dr's office you may have more say...But, if it's in the office, and in a surgical suite, I doubt you'll get what you want. Voice your concerns, and see what they have to say, the less pushy, and honest/straight forward you are w/ your worries, they more you will be listened to.
First, get a second opinion on the root canal.
Second, if you are not allowed int he room, then you need another dentist. My son is 8 and I still will not let him stay alone with the dentist, doctor, etc. Your child needs your comfort. Also, you never know what can happen behind closed doors. I know it may sound paranoid, but you cannot be too cautious when it comes to your child's safety.
I don't have any experience having this done with my child, but I can't imagine why you couldn't be in the room with her. My son, at age three, had to be sedated to stitch up his finger once and my husband and I were both in the room with him the entire time. I would get a second opinion.
Hmmm, instead of wondering or assuming ask them why they have that policy. There could be a good reason. My daughter had lots of cavities as a young child and a cap. I stayed in the room until the dentist came. Then i left. Otherwise there would have been this huge emotional issue with my daughter wanting to get up with me, or my face would show the sadness of her being under that gas they used. Broke my heart. If i stayed the whole time i would have been weeping, my child would be confused..... Anyhow i popped in and out without her knowing. The work was done with the door open, it is not like i was shut out and they were doing something secret in there. Good luck!
You're not a bad mom. My 3 older children didn't have this issue....but, my 5 yr old son is getting a 'baby' root canal. I had him later in life (38), so I gave in to waaay more fruit snacks and chews to DS. Nevertheless, you're a great mom for getting this done now, so she won't be traumatized about going to the dentist later. We broke it up into 2 sessions, and I am allowed to go back there (I usually come out after checking on him because I am just a little bit tense)...he's been a champ, though. I would really look into changing dentists, though. If you're in Orange County, I recommend Dr. Tang. If not, please try 1-800-Dentist....I would do a commercial for them for matching me with Dr. Tang! Hopefully you'll find another dentist who will truly respect you as a parent. Blessings to you..........stay encouraged!
I would definitely get a second opinion before doing a root canal. And if the dentist wont let you in the room, find a new dentist. My kids go to a wonderful pediatric dentist and I can't imagine them ever making us leave the room for anything at that age.
Sorry for the late response. I am sure you have received lots of helpful advice..... but I just wanted to add my 2 cents. My husband is a dentist and I asked him if he would allow the parent to be in the room. He said he would prefer that they are not in the room because the kids do better when their parents are not there. They are much worse when they are there. (I just read a couple of responses that you have received- and YES, root canals are necessary even on baby teeth)
I hope this helps. And I am sure that your dentist would talk about your concerns with you. And if he/she won't, then it may be time to look for a new dentist.
My 11 year old just had a root canal. I expected it to be a tramatic experience too, but it wasn't. The dental assistant turned on cartoons and my daughter was too knocked out to even realize what was going on. There was no pain or problems afterward.
Talk to the dentist and tell him how you feel. If he will not let you be in the room for moral support, then find a dentist who will. My middle son screamed even when having a routine exam until I found a dentist that would let me in the room, only going out while x-rays were taken. Also I agree with others on getting another opinion. They usually do not do root canals on baby teeth, but pull them if they are too bad to just fill.
My son had to have a root canal when he was only 7. We took him to a pediatric dentist and they allowed us to be in the room. If the dentist tells you you cannot be in the room then that should be a red flag warning and you should look for someone who will allow you to be with your daughter during this traumatic experience. Before I took my son to the pediatric dentist, we saw a general dentist and even he said we could be in the room, but suggested the pediatric for a less stressful atmosphere with cartoons and other children. Please consider finding someone else who will allow you your parental rights of staying with your child.
I too had to go through this with my son when he was three. And boy do I feel your pain.. First of all you are not a horrible mom, you are a great mom for taking care of this now!! Ok so they told me I could not be in the room with him either and I freaked out!!!!I asked them to show me what exactly they do .. For once I had to trust my dentist.. my son was put to sleep( man that was killer watching )but worth it. They have to put them on the tablt and strap their arms down so the don't move(he was asleep)I know it sounds crazy but.. please listen when I tell you to be calm !! And it will be over real quick!! It is important that you are calm.. My son now is 8yrs old and now and have been going to the dentist on a regular basis. And he is a Champ!!! He said to me the other day"mom I want to be a Dentist" to help people..so there you go mom... Be proud that you got this now and not later .. it is a root canal but she will not feel a thing.. my son was playing that same night!!! Good Luck!!!!jc :)
I think that you have ever right to be in the room with your 4 1/2 year old!!! I would get a 2nd or even 3rd opinion! Did they give you a reason that you couldn't be in the room? You don't need to be under their noses, just in the room so your daughter would know that you are there and that she is not alone!
YES!! I would actually suggest an endodontist. The only procedure they do is a root canal so they are usually faster with much less pain after the procedure. I would get a second opinion. Root canals are very uncommon in a child that young. Sometimes the problem can be managed with antibiotics. You should also talk with your dentist about pulling the teeth instead. If you feel you need to be in the room with your child then you need a doc who is going to allow that. A 4 year old girl is too young to go thru that by herself. There's lots of drilling and it takes a lot longer than a filling (if you go to a regular dentist). Heck last time I had a root canal I thought "i need my mommy!"
Nobody can make you do something you don't want to do when it comes to your child. I saw a special on T.V. about dentist places that didn't allow the parents back because they would strap the kids down and didn't want to waste time because time is money since their only concern was doing the job not the child and with the mother there to comfort the child it would take longer. My daughter at about 3-4 years old once had a procedure done but the dentist made me come back because she was so upset and he didn't want to work on her that way so they gave her something to calm her down ahead of time next time we had it done he did not get paid for that day and could not schedule another child but his main concern is the child and he would never ever have a child be alone with out their parent or support. So I would find another dentist. The special also stated that some dentist were doing major work on children that they never needed just to be able to bill large amounts to insurances and medical so be very careful and always trust your instinct it is 100% mom radar.
Hi J.! If you are on the westside, I recommend Dr. Law at UCLA for a second opinion. She is a pediatric dentist and I have found her to be extremely pragmatic in her advice. There seems to be some debate from the other mamas about whether this procedure is appropriate for a 4-1/2 year old. Regardless of the right answer, it is important enough to spend money on a second opinion before putting both you and your daughter through the trauma and expense.
From someone who went throught the same thing and works in the dental field, it is best for both you and your child NOT to be in the room. I assume, due to her age, they are medicating her or putting her out for the procedure? In my personal experience, I couldn't be in the room, and I did want to, but once I got my son to the office, I could barely contain my emotions. As to my professional experience, I have seen when parents insist on being in the room, the child is MORE scared and behaves worse than if the parent is nowhere to be seen. You could ask the dentist if there is somewhere you can observe without your child seeing you, then you could peek in from time to time. Hope this helps.
J., the first question you need to ask is why a 4 1/2 year old needs root canals on baby teeth. That truly doesn't make sense to me. You need to consult another dentist/oral surgeon. There seems to be no reason for such a drastic surgery. I would question that. Although I know when my sister had to have teeth pulled at age 7 or 8 my mother was not allowed in the room either. My sister went under anesthetic well, but came out thrashing and screaming. My mom about broke the door down to get to her. She threatened the receptionist. Once my mom was in there my sister was fine. Every child is different, but I would really question "DOES THIS REALLY NEED TO BE DONE?"
What are their reasons for not allowing you in there. I would be assertive and tell them
that YOU are her mother and You are going to sit quietly with your child. I had a root canal
dentist that I wanted to have the procedure done in 2 visits because I have TMJ so bad.
He told me he was the only root canal dentist on my insurance and he would DO it in 3 hours and not 2 procedures. I got up and walked out of his office telling him I would
find a dentist who could do the job for me in 2 procedures, and I DID. If you can't be in
there with your little girl because of their rules find another root canal dentist.
It will be worth your child's and your peace of mind.