The role of dentist and forensic odontologist in oral and dental aspects of child abuse and neglect

  • Parul Khare Sinha MDS Oral Pathology, MSc Masters Forensic Odontology, Assistant professor, Department of Oral Pathology, College of Stomatology, Ninth peoples Hospital, Shanghai Jio Tong University School of Medicine, 639, Zhi Zao Ju Road, Shanghai, China
  • Rakesh Kumar Gorea BSc, MD, Ph.D., Diplomate National Board, Professor Emeritus, JJT University, Rajasthan, India and Faculty member, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, College of Medicine Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz University, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia
  • Radhika M Bavle MDS, Professor Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Krishnadevaraya College of Dental Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka
Keywords: Child abuse, neglect, forensic odontology, dentist, oral hygiene


Child abuse can take many forms like physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and Munchausen’s syndrome. It is important to realize that dentist should be aware that such physical and sexual abuse may result in oral and dental injuries or conditions. This review is going to highlight the facts of child abuse and neglect that are overlooked and unnoticed in routine dental practice. Dentists are in an ideal position to detect signs of child abuse because 65% of all physical trauma associated with abuse occurs in the face or neck area. This paper lays emphases on such findings, their significance and to meticulously observe and document them. Furthermore, prominences on key steps in recognizing and reporting abuse while conducting and documenting interviews with the children and parents culminating with discreet cases of abuse related to dentistry