Now you have a reason to be afraid of the dentist.
Being scared of going to the dentist isn't an irrational fear; it's a perfectly logical response to mental and physical abuse.
In Georgia, some parents are outraged by the use of a restraining device, called a papoose board, on their children, while in Florida, a pediatric dentist has been accused of torture, choking his child patients, and performing painful procedures without anesthetics for decades.
The papoose board is a temporary medical stabilization board that limits the patient's movement. It's used to decrease the risk of injury while allowing the safe completion of treatment.
There are no rules, laws, or regulations regarding when dentists can use restraints. Some prefer to use these restraints for fidgety patients rather than use general anesthesia, which has risks as well.
In some countries like the United Kingdom, the papoose board is banned and considered a serious breach of ethics.
Parent James Crow said that when he took his daughter, Elizabeth, to get her front tooth pulled at Smiles-R-Us in Carrollton, Georgia, one of the devices was used.
Crow, who hadn't been allowed into the exam room, was waiting for his daughter along with his mother when they heard screaming. James rushed into the exam room only to find his daughter alone and in the papoose board.
"I couldn't see my kid in the body bag just strapped down to the bed. I couldn't handle it," Crow said.
Crow's mother described the state of her granddaughter, saying, "His little girl was frightened. I had to carry her out, she was shaking so badly."
"Protective stabilization, with or without a restrictive device, performed by the dental team requires informed consent from a parent. A parent's signature on a consent form should not preclude a thorough discussion of the procedure," the guidelines of the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say.
Crow says, "The only thing they said was they were going to put her on some laughing gas." Apparently, when dentist Dr. Jamey Chang was questioned about the restraints, she said Elizabeth didn't want to cooperate, so they had used the papoose board.
Being restrained against your will is horrible, but it's still not as bad being the victim of someone's sadistic appetites, as the patients of Dr. Howard Schneider were. Dr. Schneider is the target of a lawsuit that says he (allegedly) used his dental practice to physically abuse children.
The class action suit against Dr. Schneider describes his dental practice as a "house of horrors" and accused the man of physically abusing children, performing unnecessary dental procedures, botching dental procedures, threatening his victims into silence, and refusing to answer to concerned parents and investigators.
If you heard these screams coming from the waiting room, you'd be concerned too:
Sounding a lot like Sir. Lawrence Olivier's Nazi dentist character in Marathon Man, the list of abuse allegations against Dr. Schneider are horrific — choking children to the point of unconsciousness, using masks and costumes to frighten children he treated, and performing medically unnecessary procedures without anesthetic.
Parents of the victims have started a Facebook group and have uploaded photos showing children with bruises, swollen lips, and unnecessarily removed teeth. Schneider maintains that he's done nothing wrong, and said that the allegations are untrue and his practice will not close.
He may not close his practice, but who in their right mind, would want to sit in his chair?