Unique Challenges in the Pediatric Population
Traumatic dental injuries are a challenge for dentists regardless of the age of the patient. This is because these injuries often happen after-hours and occur relatively infrequently. It is difficult to be prepared for an event that is unpredictable in its severity and timing. Among the pediatric population, there are additional unique challenges that complicate the care plan. Very young children may have difficulty understanding questions or providing information about the injury. They may have an inability or desire to cooperate for evaluation and treatment. In some cases, the adult accompanying the child may not have the legal authority to allow the needed care. Communication issues may be present because of language differences. Emotions are high following a traumatic injury, and the dentist and the dental team may need to spend time gaining trust and explaining the treatment options. Finally, the dental team must determine if the injury matches the description provided or if there is a potential concern for child abuse or maltreatment.
KeywordsDental trauma Pediatric Behavior guidance Sedation Informed consent Trauma guidelines Child abuse
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