Coddled is at one side of the spectrum of how parents can treat their kids. The coddled kids come in for dental work, and the parents are right in there, holding hands, wiping the brows, making all sorts of promises and bribing the kid to behave, etc. while the child is whining, crying, refusing and basically being a little turd...
The more common part of this spectrum is the parent coming in with the child, holding hands during the freezing, then heading out to the waiting room while the kid gets his fillings, and giving him a high 5 when he's all done.
And then there is the opposite of coddled. There is Jamie*. Jamie is 6 and he lives with his elderly grandma right now. His mom pops into his life now and then. He is not coddled. Jamie needs a lot of work done. We give him his freezing, and it hurts him. Jamie cries out, briefly. Then he settles down and let's us get to work. But the drilling is hurting him, and he raises his hand to tell us to stop. (That's our pre arranged stop signal). So we stop, and tell Jamie that he needs more freezing, because his cavity is very deep. "No more freezing. Just keep going, it's fine!" We were able to convince him to have more freezing, and he did great, and we got the fillings done. But the heart break is that Jamie was ready to sit through 90 minutes of pain and just deal with it, because he was so afraid of getting more freezing. And he knew that no one was going to come and save him from it. Or hold his hand and reassure him. And it broke my heart that he had to be so brave for himself. Because he didn't have anyone on his team cheering for him, telling him he will be alright and giving him a high 5 when he was done.
So, if you have a kid, go ahead and coddle them. Love them and help them and reassure them all the time. Make sure they know that you are there cheering them on.