ST 30 Dec 2009
Pulling child's tooth ends in bite
I WOULD like to express my dissatisfaction with Eastern Dental Surgery at Jurong West branch. I visited the dentist on Monday at 8.40am because my five-year-old son had a toothache. My son cried aloud when he went in. The dentist managed to give him two injections but with the third one, he was unable to bear the pain and tried to close his mouth, thus biting the dentist's finger which was inside his mouth.
The dentist shouted loudly: 'You dare to bite my finger, I beat you.' Then she gave my son three slaps on his arm. I was shocked and the next moment, she shouted: 'I don't want to pull his teeth any more, since he bit my finger. Ask them to pay up.'
The next minute I was chased out of the door and asked to pay $18. My son was so frightened he shivered non-stop and tears kept rolling down his cheeks.
I do not think this is the right way to deal with a five-year-old patient. If the dental clinic accepts children as patients, the dentist should not beat them if they are not cooperative. My son told me he does not want to visit a dentist ever again.
Chua Ying Jie (Ms)
I found the above quite funny. If I were Ms Chua herself, or the kid, or the bitten dentist, I would not have found it funny. But since I'm none of these persons, I must say I do find it quite funny.
It reminds me of an incident in my own childhood. I must have been around five or six then. I had a toothache and my father brought me to a dentist. But I was so scared that I would not open my mouth at all. I didn't bite the dentist, but I resolutely kept my mouth closed. After an hour or so, the dentist gave up and my scowling father had to bring me home.
My wife and I have been more expert, in handling our own children. The trick is to bring your little kids for a routine dental check-up, long before they ever have any toothache. Under non-painful, non-traumatic conditions, the kid will be easily persuaded to open his mouth. Thereafter he will get used to the idea of having dental check-ups.
Also, if you are going for your own routine dental cleaning/scaling, you can bring your kid along to watch. Then the kid will see that dentists are nice people and there's nothing particularly scary about visiting a dentist.
(But don't bring your kid, if you are getting your wisdom tooth extracted. Because that is scary).
The dental clinic I go to is GPA Dental, at United Square. They have got the coolest technological gadgets I have ever seen in any dental clinic. There's a small touch of James Bond, in their toys.
One of them is a wireless intra oral camera, with a macro lens, a built-in light etc. With this little device, the dentist can take close-up, high-pixel, full-color photos of your teeth, from right inside your mouth. These photos are transmitted to a computer and you can immediately view them on a mounted TV screen. The dentist will store these photos in his computer, as part of your dental records.