The DDU is the specialist division of the MDU, which has lodged a submission to the Home Office consultation paper 'Reporting and acting on child abuse and neglect'.
It said dental professionals' child protection duties are already clearly set out, such as in guidance from the GDC, and the DDU's experience is that dental professionals know their duty and do act in the best interests of children.
DDU dento-legal adviser Sarah Ide said: "Dental professionals already have very clear professional guidance requiring them to act on concerns about child abuse or neglect. These duties are far wider in scope and explained in far greater detail than these proposed legal duties.
"Our concern with a mandatory reporting duty of child abuse is that rather than reinforce the existing ethical requirements, it would create a new and different threshold. This may introduce confusion about whether a case should be reported leading to a delay which would be to detrimental to the child.
"Dental professionals understand the need to act in the interests of children, and we believe the introduction of new sanctions wouldn't improve compliance among dental professionals who already act to protect children."
This guidance was correct at publication 17/10/2016. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.