The Facts about Abuse and Neglect
Abuse and neglect are an ever-increasing problem in today’s society. Dental professionals are frequently the first health care professional to render treatment to a maltreated individual, yet make few reports. Early recognition with timely reporting and referrals to appropriate agencies can help prevent more significant health consequences, and even death, in maltreated individuals.Dentists and dental hygienists are mandated reporters of suspected abuse and neglect for children and vulnerable adults.1 Around 10% of suspected abuse and neglect reports are made by medical personnel. However, dental personnel make significantly fewer reports than other medical personnel.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Child abuse and neglect are defined as “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”