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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-37

Medical child abuse and altered parenting recognition in the dental clinic

1 Department of Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics, Section of Legal Medicine, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
2 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Emilio Nuzzolese
Department of Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics, Section of Legal Medicine, University of Turin, Turin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijfo.ijfo_4_20

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Introduction: During their routine work, dentists and dental hygienists can observe areas such as face, neck, and arms, where in ≥50% of cases one can diagnose signs of physical abuse due to nonaccidental traumas. Methods: Oral health professionals are in a position to recognize not only the signs of possible physical and sexual abuse but also signs of dental neglect. The hypothesis also regards the opportunity to intercept signs of medical child abuse (MCA) and altered parenting care and supervision. These are parental or caregiver behaviors that more specically relate to so-called altered/distorted or unnecessary care, which is equally harmful or potentially harmful for the child. Discussion: All health-care professionals (family doctors, gynecologists, pediatricians, and dentists) play a key role in protecting children and adolescent health and must be able to recognize possible victims of maltreatment. Conclusion: To widen the protection of a child and prevent child abuse and neglect, the dental team should also be knowledgeable about MCA recognition during the routine clinical work.

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