‘Focus on the Tooth and the Person’: The Movement for Trauma-Informed Dentistry

When Michael’s daughter, Sarah, was in preschool, a friend recommended a pediatric dental clinic that had made her family’s visits to the dentist easy.

“The dentist told us it would be easier to put her under a general (anesthetic), which he said he used all the time,” he recalled. “Well of course, that would be easier. My question was: ‘Easier for who?’”

Michael and his wife got a second opinion from another dentist, who filled cavities and cleaned Sarah’s teeth without a general anesthetic – and without meltdowns. I asked Michael what the second dentist brought to the experience that was different from the first.

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