Whether or not you're allowed to enter the treatment area with your child is a common dental question many parents have -- and there's not always a cut-and-dry answer. The fact is, whether or not a parent or guardian accompanies their child to the dental operatory often depends on the child’s individual situation. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents of older children remain in the waiting room when children are brought into the dental operatory. Infants and some young children may benefit from having one of their parents in the operatory with them, but it's usually in a child's best interest to be treated without parental interference. Studies have shown that children over the age of 3 often respond better to dental treatment when their parents aren't in sight.
Generally speaking, we invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During the initial visit, your toddler might sit on your lap, or next to you, in the dental chair to help put him or her at ease. On subsequent visits, typically most children will be more cooperative when unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome any apprehension towards dental treatment.
Of course, we understand that every situation is different. Pediatric dentists have advanced training specific to meeting the unique dental needs of children, so you can feel confident that you're leaving your child in excellent hands. My specialty training in the various behavior management techniques and clinical experience allows me to effectively handle most behavioral problems that might arise with children. By allowing your child to enter the operatory without you, you're placing trust in our office and teaching your child to do the same.
Many times it is the parents of our patients that have the most anxiety about dental treatment. In that case, we try to alleviate any anxiety by showing parents just how well their child tolerates dental treatment - seeing really is believing !