Definition of Dental Disability

Dental caries, periodontal disease, dentoalveolar trauma, and other pathological orofacial conditions, left untreated, can limit substantially an individual’s development and quality of life. Therefore, an individual should be considered to have a dental disability if orofacial pain, infection, or pathological condition and/or lack of functional dentition affect nutritional intake, growth and development, or participation in life activities.

This definition was developed by the Child Abuse Committee of the Council on Clinical Affairs and adopted in 1983. This document is an update of the previous version, revised in 2012.