Dentist Who Used Controversial ‘Body Bag’ Restraint On Child Comes Under Fire, But Defends The Practice

A Georgia dentist who used a controversial “body bag” restraint on a child is now coming under fire, but said the practice is not unusual and insists the office insists they get approval from parents before using it.

The controversy started when a parent snapped a photograph of their child in the restraint at the Smiles-R-Us practice in Carrollton, Georgia. The “body bag” restraint used by dentist Dr. Jamey Chung, known formally as a papoose board, is reportedly for children who are uncooperative during oral procedures and is meant to ensure the safety of the child.

James Crow said the restraint was used on his daughter, Elizabeth, when she had her front tooth pulled. Crow and his mother said they could hear Elizabeth screaming from the waiting room, but they were not allowed to see her. But the pair went to the exam room anyway and saw the girl strapped down.

“I couldn’t see my kid in the body bag just strapped down to the bed, I couldn’t handle it,” Evelyn Crow told the Mail Online.

But the office is defending the practice, saying they used the “body bag” restraint because Elizabeth wasn’t cooperating and insisting that the parents signed off on the procedure.

“[The] guideline is, if the child is moving a lot or crying or kicking, we get the parents and take parent to the back and tell them what’s going on,” Office Manager Felicia Evans of Smiles R Us in Carrolton, Georgia, told ABC News today.

That may not be enough, however. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends caution when using the “body bag” restraint on children, saying it should also be discussed in detail with family members.

“When determining whether to recommend use of stabilization or immobilization techniques, the dentist should consider the patient’s oral health needs, emotional and cognitive development levels, medical and physical conditions, and parental preferences,” the organization noted. “Furthermore, alternative approaches (eg, treatment deferral, sedation, general anesthesia) and their potential impact on quality of care and the patient’s well-being should be included in the deliberation.”

The Crow family said they signed a consent form before Elizabeth’s visit, but insisted they never authorized the dentist to use the “body bag” restraint.

The controversy appears to be hurting Dr. Jamey Chung. The practice has come under fire online, with many taking to rating sites to slam both Dr. Chung and the practice. Dr. Chung’s rating on Health Grades has fallen to 2.7 stars out of a possible five.

The office’s rating on Google also appears to have taken a hit, with many people entering low ratings in the last week to criticize the dentist for using the “body bag” restraint.

[Picture by Shutterstock]