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Child Maltreatment: The Role of a Dental Professional

Course Number: 599

Treatment for Orofacial or Dental Trauma

  1. If the injury or presenting problem is limited to the mouth, and if the dentist feels competent to treat the case, treatment should be initiated. More extensive trauma such as fractures, lacerations, or serious injuries to the head, body, or extremities should be referred to the appropriate medical/dental specialists.

  2. If the dentist reasonably believes that the child is at imminent risk of harm due to the injuries already sustained or the potential for further serious injury, the dentist should call 911 and request police assistance, and if needed, emergency medical assistance while the child is still in the office. Note: Dental professionals do not have the authority to detain children; only law enforcement officers have that authority.