Treating children is one of my favorite things to do in dentistry. I’ve been doing dentistry for children since I first started in private practice, and I’ve grown more committed and confident in treating children every year. It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding disciplines in dentistry.
One topic seems to come up over and over again when consulting with parents: allowing parents in the room during dental treatment. It seems to be a common policy for many dentists to not allow parents in the room during dental treatment. Every doctor has their own philosophy and their own way of thinking, just like every patient has their own way of thinking. When a patient and a doctor can get on the same page philosophically, it makes for a great doctor patient relationship built on trust. Personally, in my practice, I welcome parents into the treatment room when treating children.
An informed and “on board” parent can be a great asset in the treatment room. If I have successfully gained a parent’s confidence and trust that I will provide the best possible treatment for their child, the child can feed off of this confidence and trust coming from the parent. If a child sees that a parent is ok with what we’re doing, it can provide excellent support.
It’s all about trust. I don’t like putting up barriers for parents and patients when there are already so many. During the consultation appointment, I spend a lot of time going over what to expect, provide various options, and answer all questions.
Most importantly, I let the parents choose. If a parent doesn’t want to be in the room during treatment, I don’t force them! Things go the best when everyone is informed, comfortable, and on the same page. I’d say that about 99% of parents, given the choice, would prefer to be in the room during their child’s treatment. I firmly believe that this is the best way and makes the experience better for everyone involved.