Parents upset after dentist used restraints on child

Updated July 01, 2015
  • By Rachel Stockman
  • WSB-TV

Several local parents are outraged by the way they say their kids were treated by a Georgia dentist.
At least two parents say their children were put in a restraining device – called a “papoose board” at Smiles-R-Us in Carrollton, Georgia.
A spokesperson for the Georgia Board of Dentistry says there are no rules, laws, or regulations regarding when dentists can use these restraints.
James Crow, said when he went with his mother to take his daughter, Elizabeth, to get her front tooth pulled at Smiles-R-Us in Carrollton, one of the devices was used.
Crow and his mother say they were not allowed into the exam room.
“We were sitting out in the waiting room and all of a sudden, we heard somebody screaming,” Evelyn Crow said.
Elizabeth’s father says when he rushed into the exam room, he found his daughter unattended and in physical restraints.
“I couldn’t see my kid in the body bag just strapped down to the bed, I couldn’t handle it,” Crow said.
“This little girl was frightened. I had to carry her out, she was shaking so bad,” his mother said.
An employee who answered the phone at the Carrollton office on Tuesday, told WSB that the office always requires parents to sign consent forms before the papoose board is used. The Crow’s say they never remember being notified. The employee said no one would be available for an on-camera interview.
“The only thing they said was they were going to put her on some laughing gas,” Crow said.
Crow’s grandmother says when she questioned the dentist about the restraints, she was told  Elizabeth did not want to cooperate.
According to records, a dentist by the name of Dr. Jamey Chang runs the place. Both of her offices were closed on Wednesday.
While the devices are legal, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the devices are used only under certain circumstances.
“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 say.
“I think they should make a law for dentists not to restrain children like that,” Crow said.