THE MAGAZINE

Incident reporting.

Contending with bad breath and nervous patients, dentists and hygienists have plenty of challenges. One university is also training them to stop abuse by reporting broken jaws and suspiciously chipped teeth—signs of family violence. Because 60 percent of abuse cases involve head and neck injuries, which dental professionals are uniquely suited to identify, the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry and the Program Against Sexual Violence created a training program to deal with patients affected by family violence. The program discusses the dynamics of abuse, teaches dental students and professionals how to intervene in and report violence, and shows how to identify community service providers and establish office protocols.A report by the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime indicates that the training “made a significant, positive impact in teaching dental professionals how to identify and report cases of abuse.” The report urges that this training be integrated into dental schools, dental hygiene programs, and dental associations. Read it on SM Online.

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