After bringing her child for a check up, Whitby resident Melissa Lopez decided to get a second opinion after she was told her daughter needed thousands of dollars worth of dental work.
The first dentist reportedly informed Lopez that her 10-year-old had nine cavities. With dental insurance out of the picture, Lopez decided to get a second opinion from a different dentist. The second dentist reported that Lopez’s daughter had less cavities, and Lopez went ahead with fillings at the new location.
A few months later, Lopez received a call from Children’s Aid that informed her that she had been accused of “oral neglect” by her dentist. This accusation came from her initial dentist visit, before she decided to relocate.
After providing proof that her daughter had undergone all required fillings and dental work, the case was quickly closed without an interview. However, although the case was closed, Lopez will have a permanent record at the Children’s Aid Society.
While Lopez was completely shocked by the accusation, having had switched dentists before without notifying the previous one, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) notes that the dentist had reasonable ground to file the report. Kevin Marsh, director of communications for the RCDSO, points out that everyone has the responsibility to report suspected child neglect. This, he says, is required under Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act.
“Health-care professionals and other people who work closely with children have a special responsibility under the act,” he added.