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Dent Traumatol. 2012 Dec;28(6):465-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-9657.2012.01115.x. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Dental injury and its prevention in Swiss rugby.

Author information

  • 1Centre of Dental Traumatology, Department of Oral Surgery, Oral Radiology and Oral Medicine, University of Basel, Hebelstrasse 3, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

  Rugby players are at a high risk of sustaining dental injury because of the high number of tackles implicit to the game. This study aimed to determine the frequency of injuries sustained by players in the Swiss rugby league.

METHODS:

  During the 2010/11 season, 517 rugby players from 19 clubs were questioned about dental trauma as well as the use of mouthguards and other forms of body protection. The level of awareness about tooth avulsion and replantation was also assessed. Participants included athletes from four different leagues; National (155), Premier (122), Women's (90) and Juniors (150).

RESULTS:

  Of the 517 players taking part in the survey, 54.4% had sustained at least one serious injury and 39.5% had sustained a facial injury. One hundred and thirty-nine athletes (37.3%) had observed another player sustain a dental injury during a game, whilst 35 (6.8%) had personally sustained one or more dental injuries. Dental injury rate was considerably higher amongst forwards than backs. Four hundred and fifty-six players (88.2%) wore a mouthguard of which three-quarters were tailor-made. Three hundred and thirteen players (60.5%) were aware that an avulsed tooth can be replanted; however, only 27 (5.2%) had heard of the tooth rescue boxes. These results demonstrate that, whilst general injuries occur with regularity in rugby, dental injuries are not amongst the most common forms. This is almost certainly attributable to the high level of mouthguard usage. Particularly for players in the junior league, in which the use of mouthguards was lowest, the risk of dental injury may be reduced by an increased level of education about tooth protection.

CONCLUSIONS:

  To this end, an increased awareness about and usage of tooth rescue boxes would be desirable. It would seem sensible to make the wearing of mouthguards compulsory in contact sports such as rugby.

© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID:
22300191
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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