I’m freaking out after seeing a story about a pediatric dentist that has been harming children. This makes me so sick! How will I ever know if the dentist is safe for my child? The parents stated that the work he did for their children was sub-standard and resulted in thousands of dollars of work elsewhere. Also, he was said to have done treatment without parental consent on minors and even scared kids by placing them in a straight-jacket. What? This is absurd. How can a dentist that has been practicing dentistry for four decades get away with something like this? Do you have tips on selecting a safe pediatric dentist?
– Sandra in Alabama
You must be referring to this particular case in Florida.You’re right, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior. It sounds like scenes straight from a horror film. Although it doesn’t justify the events that took place or the number of children affected by his actions, it does sound like the dentist has willingly surrendered his license. There will likely be more details that surface throughout the trial.
As more families come forward, it also sounds like he was the only Medicaid provider in the area. Sadly, he was their only choice if they wanted their children to get dental care. Ultimately, the best piece of advice with any medical procedure is that is something doesn’t feel right, it’s not worth it.
A pediatric dentist or family-oriented general dentist should be open and honest. He or she will be happy to explain procedures and always receive parental consent before any procedure with a child. Feel free to interview office staff, tour the office, and schedule a consultation to get all your questions answered.
It is not uncommon for the dental professionals to request parents stay in the reception room during a child’s exam. Typically, this is because children are more agreeable and work better with dental staff in a parent’s absence. But if you are uncomfortable in any way, you should have every right to accompany or check on your child. Every pediatric dentist office is different. Yet don’t hesitate to ask questions and make sure you and your child are comfortable.
In response to the restraint devices that were used, these are very seldom used anymore. Decades ago, they were used more often. But today, they are really only used during a sedation dentistry appointment with a child or during a unique situation with a special needs or confrontational. Feel free to ask your dentist about their policy and use of restraint devices in their practices.
Bottom line – be active at the appointment. Be engaged. Don’t just drop them off and hope for the best. This type of extreme situation is rare, but a good reminder that even though a dentist is licensed, doesn’t guarantee anything about the actual experience or treatment plan.
Remember, this is a rare instance which is likely why the media has brought it to light.
Thank you for your question.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.