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J Dent Res. 1996 Feb;75 Spec No:696-705.

Prevalence of incisor trauma in persons 6-50 years of age: United States, 1988-1991.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Oral Disease Prevention, National Institute of Dental Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-6401, USA.


Traumatic injuries to the teeth are among the most serious of dental conditions, yet little is known about the prevalence of tooth or dental trauma at the national level. The National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) modified existing indices for specific use in national epidemiologic studies of tooth trauma among both children and adults. The NIDR index was developed not only to track the status of the tooth from sound (no evidence of trauma) through missing due to trauma, but also to reflect selected sequelae of trauma. The index is based on clinical, non-radiographic evidence of tooth inujury and treatment received in the eight permanent incisors, including a positive history of injury obtained from the subject. The trauma assessment index was applied immediately following the caries examination for dentate participants ages 6-50 years old (n=7,707) in Phase 1 of the NHANES III oral examination. This article reports the first national overall and age-specific population-based prevalence of dental trauma among gender, racial, and ethnic groups. There is a higher prevalence of incisal trauma, of both maxillary and mandibular incisors, in males than females, in both the younger and older age groups. The prevalence of incisal trauma of both maxillary and mandibular incisors in whites and blacks in both younger and older age categories is similar. The study found that half of the individuals with trauma had only one incisor tooth classified as having trauma. Males and older age groups showed larger numbers of traumatized teeth. Further study and examination of methodological issues are desirable for additional understanding of incisal trauma in the general population .

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