Preparing the pediatric dentist for palliative and end-of-life care

Elise W. Sarvas, Scott Schwantes, Jeffrey M. Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Pediatric dentists are the primary providers of dental homes for children with life-threatening and complex chronic conditions. These children are increasingly living at home and seeking health care in community-based settings, including dental offices. Pediatric dentists may feel ill prepared to assume the roles and responsibilities of a pediatric palliative care provider due to limited education and training during dental school and residency; however, they should be sensitive to the palliative care needs of children and families. The purpose of this clinical article was to highlight palliative care scenarios in pediatric dentistry and provide actionable resources to empower pediatric dentists to gather health care information, make informed ethical decisions, promote patient- and family-centered care, and prepare dentists and their dental teams for episodes of death and bereavement when providing a dental home to patients with life-threatening and complex chronic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Children with complex chronic conditions
  • Death
  • End-of-life issues
  • Palliative care
  • Pediatric dentist


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