Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Safeguarding children in dentistry: 2. Do paediatric dentists neglect child dental neglect?

By J. C. (Jenny C.) Harris, C. (Claire) Elcock, Peter Sidebotham and Richard Welbury


* Discusses dental neglect in relation to a contemporary UK understanding of good practice in safeguarding children.\ud * Managing dental neglect is part of daily practice for many paediatric dentists.\ud * Acknowledges that preventive dentistry and good communication with families already contribute to promoting child welfare.\ud * Recommends that dentists should communicate more often with other health and social care professionals.\ud \ud Abstract\ud In this second part of a two-part report, further findings of a postal questionnaire sent in March 2005 to dentists with an interest in paediatric dentistry working in varied UK settings are presented and discussed in the context of current multi-agency good practice in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Using insights gained from a survey of self-reported management of children with neglected dentitions, this paper explores whether paediatric dentists neglect child dental neglect. The authors conclude that current practice already includes much that contributes to promoting children's oral health and wellbeing. However, in a society where children continue to suffer as a result of abuse and neglect, they warn that improvements are needed in communication between dentists and other health and social care professionals if children's welfare is to be safeguarded and promoted effectively and future tragedies avoided

Topics: RK, HV
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1994). A comparison of oral health status and need for dental care between abused/neglected children and nonabused/non-neglected children. Pediatr Dent
  2. (2005). American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Definition of Dental Neglect. Pediatr Dent Reference Manual
  3. (2005). American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Guideline on oral and dental aspects of child abuse and neglect. Pediatr Dent Reference Manual
  4. (2001). Area Child Protection Committee. Area Child Protection Committee Procedure Manual. Section 5.2. Sheffield: South Yorkshire ACPC,
  5. (1986). Caries incidence in child abuse and neglect. Pediatr Dent
  6. (1995). Child abuse/neglect and the oral health of children's primary dentition. Mil Med
  7. (2006). Child maltreatment in the "children of the nineties": A cohort study of risk factors. Child Abuse Negl doi
  8. (2000). Child maltreatment in the United Kingdom: a study of the prevalence of child abuse and neglect. doi
  9. (2006). Child protection and the dental team: an introduction to safeguarding children in dental practice. doi
  10. (2008). Children, Schools and Families. Referrals, assessments and children and young people who are the subject of a child protection plan, England - Year ending 31
  11. (2006). Dental caries affects body weight, growth and quality of life in pre-school children. Br Dent J doi
  12. (2003). Early indicators of child abuse and neglect: a multi-professional Delphi study. Child Abuse Review doi
  13. (2003). General dental practitioners' perception of their role within child protection: a qualitative study.
  14. (2000). Health. Lost in Care, Report of the tribunal of inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the former county council areas of Gwynedd and Clwyd since 1974. London: The Stationery Office,
  15. (2007). How far is England in the process of introducing a mandatory reporting system? Child Abuse Review doi
  16. (2004). Impact of oral health. Children’s dental health in the United Kingdom 2003. London: Office for National Statistics,
  17. It’s everyone’s job to make sure I’m alright’: report of the Child Protection Audit and Review. Edinburgh: The Stationery Office,
  18. (2006). Letter to the editor. Br Dent J
  19. Neglect: short-term and long-term outcomes. In Dubovitz H (ed) Neglected Children: research, practice and policy. doi
  20. (2008). Prevalence of early childhood caries in a population of children with history of maltreatment. doi
  21. (2008). Safeguarding children in dentistry: 1. Child protection, training, experience and practice of dental professionals with an interest in paediatric dentistry. Submitted to Br Dent J for publication as Part 1 of this article, doi
  22. (2005). Standards Guidance: Standards for Dental Professionals. London: General Dental Council, doi
  23. (2002). The Carlile Review. The review of safeguards for children and young people treated and cared for by the NHS in Wales, ‘Too Serious a Thing.’ Cardiff: The National Assembly for Wales,
  24. (1999). The prevalence and impact of dental pain in 8 year-old school children in Harrow, doi
  25. (2003). The Victoria Climbié Inquiry. Report of an Inquiry by Lord Laming. London: The Stationery Office,
  26. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Geneva, Switzerland: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, doi
  27. (2003). Untreated dental caries is common among 6 to 12-year-old physically abused/neglected children in Spain.
  28. (2006). Working together to safeguard children. London: The Stationery Office,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.