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Aust Dent J. 1999 Dec;44(4):259-67.

Child abuse and dentistry: a study of knowledge and attitudes among dentists in Victoria, Australia.

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University of Melbourne.


Child abuse is a disturbingly common finding in society today. In view of the high proportion of orofacial injuries seen in victims of child abuse, dentists are in a strategic position to recognize and report suspected cases. The present study of 347 dentists in Victoria, Australia, assessed the level of knowledge and attitudes among dental professionals on the important issue of child abuse. While a high level of interest was shown by the participants towards this issue, a need for further information and training in the recognition and reporting of child abuse was seen in the survey findings. While dentists at present are not legally mandated in all states of Australia to report suspected cases of child abuse, the dental profession is in a key position to play an active role in the identification and reporting of this substantial community problem.

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