Chapter-07 Should Parents Remain with Children During their Dental Treatment?

BOOK TITLE: Child Management in Clinical Dentistry

1. Jawdekar Ashwin
Publishing Year
Author Affiliations
1. MGM Dental College and Hospital, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, India
Chapter keywords


The dentist must understand that the parental presence in the operatory has to be viewed in the child-behavioral perspective. The presence of parent/s can affect the child-behavior positively, negatively or insignificantly. Also, the ‘parental separation’ must be considered a behavior modification method that can be employed to achieve child-cooperation. Thus, a firm decision has to be made by a dentist regarding the same by the dentist in each and every child’s case after assessing the child-behavior sufficiently. It has to be the decision of the dentist and not of the child and/or parent/s; whether parent/s stay in the operatory with the child or not. For some young children (typically 2–4 years of age), the presence of parents may have a positive influence on the treatment delivery in the initial visits. It is necessary to understand that the parents need to be instructed properly rather than separated in such instances. For example, they should be told to be spectators rather than participants in the treatment, and should not give instructions, express feelings and question the dentist during the treatment. At times, for young (pre-cooperative) children, parents can hold (restrain) the child on their lap for small duration procedures, such as consultation, taking radiographs, fluoride application and even restorations. A dentist should take into account these considerations as well, prior to making a decision of separating/retaining parents. Finally, the decision of parental separation must be taken only in the interest of the child’s dental treatment. The Behavioral Pedodontics aims at carrying out treatment effectively and efficiently in a child patient, and at the same time instilling in him/her a positive attitude towards dentistry. The decision to (or not to) separate parents must facilitate this objective.

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