Article Title: After hours presentation of traumatic dental injuries to a major paediatric teaching hospital
Author(s): Warren M, Widmer R, Arora M, Hibbert S
Journal: Australian Dental Journal
Major Topic: Dental Trauma after ours in pediatric ED
Type of Article: Data Collections
Main Purpose: To learn if prevention is possible on a public health standpoint
- Thorough record taking of traumatic dental injuries is vital. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a structured paper history for this purpose, with the aim of formulating appropriate preventive guidelines.
A six-month audit of traumatic dental injuries presenting after hours was undertaken at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. A structured paper history form was subsequently created, and the data collected over the following 12 months.
Results: Over 12 months, 190 paediatric patients (male: female ratio 1.5:1) were treated after hours with traumatic dental injuries. There were 396 injured teeth among 182 patients (eight patients had soft tissue injuries only). The mean number of injured teeth per patient with dental injuries was 2.18, the vast majority being maxillary central incisors (62% of primary teeth and 66% of permanent teeth). The most common cause was ‘accident during play’, followed by a fall. The most common injury was subluxation, followed by uncomplicated crown fracture and lateral luxation. The severe injuries, avulsions and luxations, comprised 63% of injuries to primary teeth and 26% to permanent teeth.
‘Accident during play’ was any collision with a child or object not otherwise defined; ‘non-motorized vehicle accidents’ included those on scooters, bikes, skateboards and go-carts; ‘water related accidents’ were those which occurred in pools or at bath/shower time; and ‘other’ included five incidents – two assaults, one seizure, one dog bite and one non-accidental injury. Of 190 incidents, 79.5% were witnessed, while 20.5% were unwitnessed.
Conclusions: Structured paper histories are useful for recording traumatic dental injuries. The vast majority of these injuries are due to unavoidable accidents, rendering their prevention challenging from a public health perspective