An unhappy filling at the dentist |

An unhappy filling at the dentist

Dear Editor,

I am a relentless child advocate, and today’s events have sparked my own mother-bear instincts. I am absolutely floored by the practices of All Kids Dental. Their policy that forbids parents to be with their children during certain dental procedures is archaic and unacceptable. It goes against parent’s basic instincts, forcing us to let down our guard, and when this happens, children are at risk, physically and emotionally.

I know I risk offending some who undoubtedly place their trust in Dr. Bob. In fact, some of my very closest friends take their children here and were quite surprised when I informed them of the All Kids Dental policy. We can’t imagine why a pediatric dentist would have such a policy in place – though I’m sure we can expect a response to this letter with their own banter to defend their policy. I can, however, tell you the reasons Dr. Bob gave when he asked my husband to leave my frightened 5-year-old son’s side and wait out in the waiting room. Dr. Bob actually told him that children were “manipulative and tend to pull on their parents’ heartstrings in an attempt to get out of the treatment.”

To that I say, yes, children can be manipulative, but pain is pain, and pain beckons fear, and parents ought to be allowed to be in attendance to help alleviate these fears and support their own child. Call them crazy, but my kids hate shots and they cry, and this is sad, but it is imperative that they get these vaccinations, painful as they are. But the difference is, I am there, I do not desert them.

He proceeded to say, “I am uncomfortable with you being here, and if you are uncomfortable with that then it’s time to find another dentist.” Fine. No problem, except I can’t believe that there are parents who would accept this policy and wait comfortably in the waiting room while their young child was lying terrified, and undoubtedly in some amount of pain and screaming in a room in the back of the office. I take my God-given job as a mother much more personally than that!

Spread out amongst my 6 children, I have been through 4 separate sets of stitches, and never once was I asked to leave the ER. I have never been asked to leave the room when my children get their vaccines at the doctor’s office, and my husband was NOT asked to leave the side of my four infant sons during their circumcisions – talk about pressure on the pediatrician, and UNCOMFORTABLE, I bet that is an understatement! Why must I leave my son’s side while he gets a filling and sealants? Policy.

I find this whole situation to be disheartening and somewhat circumspect, as I truly felt comfortable with Dr. Bob’s dental ability. But I can assure you that I am not comfortable with his office “policy” and don’t find it acceptable that a pediatric dentist is not more understanding of either a child’s basic need for his parent or of a parent’s inherent calling to protect, console and support their children. This policy is disrespectful of parenting as a whole.

The story does have a happy ending – I found a board-certified dentist in Snowmass Village who loves to work with children and encourages parents to stay by the side of their children. Anyone who is curious is more than welcome to contact me!

The unyielding Mother Bear,

Sue Kellogg

Glenwood Springs

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