Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala

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Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Pediatric Dentistry

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Pediatric Dentistry


Carmen SAVIN, Elena TOADER, Gheorghe G. BALAN, Laura Maria GAVRILA, Adriana BALAN

Cod: ISSN: 1583-3410 (print), ISSN: 1584-5397 (electronic)
Dimensiuni: pp. 232-248

How to cite this article:

Savin, C., Toader, E., Balan, G.G., Gavrila, L.M., Balan, A. (2016). Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Pediatric Dentistry. Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala, 54, 156-167.


Child abuse refers to the actions or non-actions which, mediated or immediately, affect the physical or psychic integrity of an infant, and negatively influence his normal physical, emotional and social development. Neglect represents the willful failure of either parent or tutor to assure to the child access to a healthcare system, thus jeopardizing his growth and evolution. In the field of pediatric dentistry, both abuse and neglect ultimately lead to complex dento-facial disabilities, with longterm consequences. The pediatric dentist is expected to establish complex professional medical relations, based on clearly-defined deontological principles, continuously targeting child superior interest. In this way, the dental practitioner may identify quite various situations which, according to the fundamental principle of a medical good action, require the involvement, in the medical relation, of a third responsible person. Accordingly, child’s superior interest will represent a priority, granting all his rights to life and health, as well as - if such be the case - his special protection. When potentially or really dangerous situations for child security and well-being are to be faced, the medical staff is obliged to announce the specialized structures of child assistance and protection; in such cases, the secondary principles on professional medical confidentiality and interdiction of making public the professional medical secret should be left aside. Such type of intervention in the physician-patient relation is characterized by both risks and advantages, most of them derived from the promptness with which the general and even forceful methods for protection of children in a civilized community are to be applied.


child abuse, mandatory reporting, confidentiality, disclosure.

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