When five-year-old Elizabeth Crow needed to go to the dentist to have a tooth removed, like most children and some adults, she expressed fear about the process. Despite her misgivings, her father, James, took her, but was told that he wouldn’t be able to be in the room while the dentist, Dr. Jamey Chang, examined his daughter.
However, as James Crow waited, he heard his daughter scream, and ran in to see what was happening. He found his daughter being held in a restraints that he referred to as a “papoose board.” Elizabeth was unable to move her arms and legs, which caused James to remove her and leave before anything else was done.
James’ mother, Evelyn Crow, indicated that no mention of any restraints was mentioned when the situation was discussed, only that laughing gas would be used. In contrast, the ironically-named dental office, Smiles-R-Us, claimed that all parents must agree before that specific restraint is used.
In speaking with Dr. Chang, Evelyn Crow was told that her granddaughter was being uncooperative, which necessitated the use of the restraint.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, all parents should give consent before any such device is used. In addition, the dentist should personally speak with them and offer them the pros and cons of its use, though it’s recommended that such a discussion occur days before any procedure.
Currently, there are no laws or regulations that are in place to legislate the use of this type of device.