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Controversy over new dental restraint technique

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A controversial restraining method, said to be an aid to paediatric dental treatment, is being used across America. The ‘papoose board’ is used to restrain children while they undergo dental treatment, and has received criticism from some dentists and parents, as it is said to potentially traumatise children who are subjected to it.

American Paediatric Dentistry division chief, Dr Brian Martin, says the papoose board is used as a safety measure, and can also be soothing and comforting to younger children, especially those on the Autistic Spectrum. He defended the controversial method to Statement.com, “A lot of things we do in dentistry involve a lot of instruments that are near the face, obviously, and we don’t want to have a circumstance where we put the patient at risk.” However, Dr Martin does acknowledge that there could be potential risks, such as hindering breathing and circulation, if the method is not used correctly.

WPXI.com are said to have found a case where a young girl acquired bruises and abrasions when strapped into the device, and there were other reports of a four-year-old child in Texas suffering brain damaged due to method. There are also fears amongst the dental community that this kind of restraint could cause dental post traumatic stress disorder, which could lead to psychological problems in later life.




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