Dentist’s role in recognizing child abuse: a case report

  • Alessandro Leite Cavalcanti UEPB
  • Ana Flávia Granville-Garcia
  • Edja Maria Melo de Brito Costa
  • Luciana de Barros Correia Fontes
  • Lenora Oliveira Pereira Diniz de Sá
  • Alexandre Durval Lemos
Keywords: Child, violence, Dentistry

Abstract

Purpose: To report the dentist’s contribution in the identification, intervention and follow-up of a case of physical child abuse. Case description: A 5-year old child was brought by his stepmother to the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic of the Dental School of the State University of Paraiba, Brazil, for routine dental care. The physical examination revealed a hematoma in the left orbit. As the patient’s report was inconsistent, he was referred to the Department of Psychology in order to obtain more information about the cause of the trauma and, if necessary, establish immediate protective measures for the child and plan the future actions for the case. Conclusion: This case illustrates the importance of an interdisciplinary approach for situations of violence involving children. Since physical violence can produce injuries in any part of the body, the dental staff must be prepared to identify any clinical evidence s well as to offer the adequate treatment for each case.

Author Biographies

Alessandro Leite Cavalcanti, UEPB
Professor da Disciplina de Odontopediatria do Departamento de Odontologia da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
Ana Flávia Granville-Garcia
Professora da Disciplina de Odontopediatria do Departamento de Odontologia da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
Edja Maria Melo de Brito Costa
Professora da Disciplina de Odontopediatria do Departamento de Odontologia da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
Luciana de Barros Correia Fontes
Professora da Disciplina de Odontopediatria do Departamento de Odontologia da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
Lenora Oliveira Pereira Diniz de Sá
Professora da Disciplina de Odontopediatria do Departamento de Odontologia da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
Alexandre Durval Lemos
Professor da Disciplina de Odontopediatria do Departamento de Odontologia da Universidade Estadual da Paraíba
Published
2009-02-11
Section
Case Report