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The Dental Team's Role in Identifying and Preventing Family Violence (AGD 156)

Presenter: Lynn Douglas Mouden, DDS, MPH, FICD, FACD


Orofacial injuries resulting from abuse or neglect should be easy to identify in the dental setting. However, many in dentistry have historically been unable or unwilling to properly identify these injuries. The steps in dealing with conditions due to abuse or neglect are easy to learn and even easier to incorporate into the dental practice.

Not only are trained and informed dental assistants a valuable resource for providing dental care, dental assistants must also be aware of the realities of family violence in order to help prevent abuse and neglect. Treatment procedures that involve dental assistants are easily modified to include potential identification of abuse and neglect.  The dental assistant’s input is valuable in identifying suspected family violence because he or she typically spends more time with the patient than the dentist and as such, can be a confidant for patients who need to talk.


Lynn Douglas Mouden, DDS, MPH, FICD, FACD
A founding father of P.A.N.D.A. (the Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness coalition), Dr. Mouden is an internationally recognized author and lecturer on the clinical and legal aspects of child abuse and family violence prevention. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas; his DDS, with distinction, from the University of Missouri at Kansas City; and his Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. After 16 years of private practice experience, he served for eight years with the Missouri Department of Health, and 12 years as the Director of Arkansas’ Office of Oral Health. He also holds faculty appointments as Associate Clinical Professor at the UMKC School of Dentistry, Associate Professor in the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the UAMS College of Medicine, Associate Professor in the UAMS College of Health Related Professions, and Professor in the UAMS Fay W. Boosman College of Public Health. He also serves as the American Dental Association (ADA) Expert Spokesperson on Family Violence Prevention and as a consultant to the ADA’s Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention. For further information on P.A.N.D.A., you can contact him by e-mail at


At the completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Know the definitions of child abuse and child neglect.
• Understand family violence as a problem affecting all age groups.
• Be familiar with the demographics of child maltreatment victims.
• Understand some of the causes of family violence.
• Help develop a protocol for properly identifying suspected cases of abuse or neglect.
• Recognize some common conditions that may mimic abuse.
• Understand the necessary differences in protocol when intervening in family violence cases involving adults.
• Be familiar with local and state dental initiatives to prevent family violence.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry. Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of this course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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