In our opinion

Graham Roberts*, Victoria Lucas, Fraser McDonald, S. Camilleri, J. Jayaraman, D. Davies, K. Moze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The misleading statements made in the British Dental Journal in the December 2016 issue relating to dental age assessment are assessed for inaccuracies and negligent omission of the issue of Child Protection. It is emphasised that there is a need for the approach of objective knowledge viz. not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts. The article by the Chair of the Education, Ethics, and Team Working Group implies that unsatisfactory consent procedures are followed. The DARLInG (Dental Age Research London Information Group) have followed a carefully prescribed procedure that fulfils all the requirements of the advice given by the Consent Committee at King's College Hospital. In addition, the active support in the form of independent support workers and lawyers assisted by interpreters is described. The issue of the lawful use of ionising radiation is described with correct information about where this information can be obtained. The seriously misleading statements made by the Chair of the Education, Ethics and Education Working Group are identified. An unacceptable oversight is the failure of the BDA representatives to draw attention to the need for child protection. The potential benefit of dental age estimation in terms of appropriately providing support for asylum seekers is described.The failure of the BDA Ethics group to be up to date with recent research which shows a high level of certainty in assigning age disputed subjects to above (or below) the 18-year threshold is discussed and the importance of this in reliably determining, in an objective way, the age status of asylum seekers. The incorrect and salacious use of the term 'X-rated' is highlighted and a formal request for its withdrawal has been made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-921
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jun 2017


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