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Child Dental Neglect Laws: Specification and Repercussions for Dentists in 51 Jurisdictions

Safdari-Sadaloo, Sara (2020) Child Dental Neglect Laws: Specification and Repercussions for Dentists in 51 Jurisdictions. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Purpose: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) definition of child dental neglect is the “failure of parent or guardian to seek and follow through with treatment necessary to ensure a level of oral health essential for adequate function and freedom from pain and infection.” When dental caries are untreated it can lead to pain, infection, malnutrition, and/or death. These reasons, and more, are why appropriate and timely treatment of dental caries is a public health significance. We performed an interjurisdictional comparison of statutes and regulations (collectively “laws”) pertaining to reporting child dental neglect by dentists.
Methods: We obtained child neglect laws in 51 jurisdictions (50 states and District of Columbia) via the Westlaw legal database, Internet and direct communication with the health department in each jurisdiction. We evaluated mandated reporter laws on: 1) protection from civil and criminal liability for reporting neglect; and 2) sanctions for the failure to report neglect.
Results: All jurisdictions had child neglect laws, with eight specifying dental neglect and none adopting the AAPD definition. All jurisdictions protected mandated reporters of neglect. The sanctions for failing to report neglect ranged from imprisonment from up to 6 months (49%) to 5 years (2%) and fines from up to $1,000 (61%) to $10,000 (6%).
Discussion: Dentists may not be aware of the sanctions for failing to report child dental neglect in their jurisdiction or that there are interjurisdictional differences.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Safdari-Sadaloo, Sarasms318@pitt.edusms318
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBurgettee, Jacquelinejacqueline@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberFinegold, Daviddnf@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 10 February 2020
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 39
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Multidisciplinary MPH
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 19:53
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 19:53


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