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Pediatrics. 2005 Dec;116(6):1565-8.

Oral and dental aspects of child abuse and neglect.


In all 50 states, physicians and dentists are required to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect to social service or law enforcement agencies. The purpose of this report is to review the oral and dental aspects of physical and sexual abuse and dental neglect and the role of physicians and dentists in evaluating such conditions. This report addresses the evaluation of bite marks as well as perioral and intraoral injuries, infections, and diseases that may cause suspicion for child abuse or neglect. Physicians receive minimal training in oral health and dental injury and disease and, thus, may not detect dental aspects of abuse or neglect as readily as they do child abuse and neglect involving other areas of the body. Therefore, physicians and dentists are encouraged to collaborate to increase the prevention, detection, and treatment of these conditions.

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