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The dentist’s role in recognizing childhoodabuses: study on thedental health of children victims of abuse and witnesses to violence
 

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  12/2009

Authors:  P. P. Montecchi***, M. Di Trani*, D. Sarzi Amadè***,

Language:  English

Institution:  * Unit of Paediatric Neuropsychiatry, Paediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, Rome ** La Cura del Girasole – Onlus. Association for discomfort and abuses on children, Rome (previously at the Paediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù) *** Dentistry, Hospital S. Andrea, Sapienza University of Rome II School of Medicine **** Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Sapienza University of Rome I School of Medicine

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  ariesdue srl

Keywords:  Child abuse and neglect; Dentistry.

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Email:  p.montecchi@libero.it


Title:  The dentist’s role in recognizing childhoodabuses: study on thedental health of children victims of abuse and witnesses to violence

Abstract:  Aim Up to today, little attention and training has been paid, in the Italian dental field, to a dramatically widespread problem, childhood abuse and neglect (CAN). Our research fits into a current of thought on alerting physicians, not only paediatricians, to the problem of abused children. Violence is often part of neglect and carelessness toward children, and it often also concerns their personal hygiene and health care. Aim of our study was to verify the hypothesis that “dental neglect”, intended as a specific form of neglect, is often associated to other types of neglect, and therefore it could represent an important sign in indentifying childhood abuse and neglect situations. These were investigated through the comparison between a group of children with psychological disorder and a control group, as far as their dental health is concerned. Our results indicate that the abused children show: a significantly higher dental plaque index (p=.02); a higher gingival inflammation (p =.2); a higher number of untreated decays (p=.004); more evidences of neglect (p = .0002). Additionally, the abused subjects were less cooperative during dental visits (p=.0005). Our data support the hypothesis that the abused children in our group are, both under the hygiene point of view and access to treatment, more neglected by their caregivers.

 
 
 
 
 
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