Dental Practice Management and Children's Dentistry: Corporal Punishment in the Dentist's Chair?

Corporal Punishment in the Dentist’s Chair?

A dentist in Wellington, New Zealand, slapped a six-year-old patient after she accidentally bit him during a procedure. There’s been an uproar among other members of the dental community appalled by this doctor’s actions. The dentist, who has not been publicly named, is still practicing – a situation that’s infuriating some local residents. One dentist was quoted as saying, “If it was my son slapped in a dentist’s chair I would fight hard to stop this person practicing his work till he proved he was fit enough.”

The girl was referred to the dentist by her school therapist two years ago. (The school is no longer referring patients to that dentist.) She had two decayed teeth requiring extraction, and the dentist tried to sedate her with nitrous oxide. However, after she bit down on his hand, he allegedly slapped her across the face deliberately – qualifying his actions as assault. Though the dentist denies the charges, the deputy health and disability commissioner found in favor of the girl and censured the dentist. Even so, the dentist was only asked to apologize. He is not facing any criminal charges, and he has been allowed to continue practicing.

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+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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