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Child Abuse and Dental Practice: Finding the Nexus

Volume 1 - Issue 7

Induwara Gooneratne*

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    • Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

    *Corresponding author: Induwara Gooneratne, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Received: December 18, 2017;   Published: December 21, 2017

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2017.01.000617

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Many reports indicate that children are abused everyday worldwide. They are abused in many different ways [1]. Literature suggests that the numbers of reported abuses against children are a mere tip of an iceberg accordingly, there are many unreported cases – some are hidden or covered. Thus, child abuse becomes a social problem. Many seem to ignore child abuses, others of course will justify. Admittedly there are a few who will hide such abuses under a carpet or give a blind eye. In some societies child abuse has become a part of an accepted cultural practice- for example corporal punishments or female genital mutilations. Fortunately, there are some of us in the society who will voice against abuse of children. The social responses to child abuse are reflected in clinical sets up in similar ways. This means that some clinicians will ignore abuses while others may not care. The problem becomes aggravated in clinical scenarios especially when the clinician is not trained in identifying an imminent child abuse. In this context, this paper seeks to find a connection between clinical dental practice and child abuse. In short, I will argue and demonstrate in this paper that the presentations of cases of child abuse are not uncommon to the dental clinician, but that they are often times presented with alternate histories so that they can be easily missed by the clinician, if not looked through forensic lenses.

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