Use of Protective Stabilization for Pediatric Dental Patients

Purpose

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) believes that all infants, children, adolescents, and individuals with special health care needs (SHCN) are entitled to receive oral health care that meets the treatment and ethical principles of our specialty. The AAPD has included use of protective stabilization (formerly referred to as physical restraint and medical immobilization) in its guidelines on behavior guidance since 1990.1,2 This separate document, specific to protective stabilization, provides additional information to assist the dental professional and other stakeholders in understanding the indications for and developing appropriate practices in the use of protective stabilization as an advanced behavior guidance technique in contemporary pediatric dentistry. This advanced technique must be integrated into an overall behavior guidance approach that is individualized for each patient in the context of promoting a positive dental attitude for the patient, while ensuring the highest standards of safety and quality of care.