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J Athl Train. 2004 Dec;39(4):310-315.

Dental Injuries in Intermediate and High School Athletes: A 15-Year Study at Punahou School.

Author information

1
Punahou School, Honolulu, HI.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the rate, type, and severity of dental injuries recorded for intermediate and high school interscholastic athletic participants.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A longitudinal study (1988-2003) of intermediate and high school athletes utilizing the same certified athletic trainers to evaluate and record all injury data.

SUBJECTS:

Sports participation included 123 teams in 19 female, 18 male, and 2 coed sports. Of 2445 Punahou School intermediate and high school students, on average, 1340 students (623 females, 717 males) annually participated in interscholastic athletics.

MEASUREMENTS:

Dental injuries were defined as injuries to the jaw, teeth, and oral soft tissue (lip, mouth, cheek, and tongue). Soft tissue injuries requiring physician or dentist referral were recorded. Other soft tissue injuries were treated as skin abrasions and were not recorded. Actual days lost from activity were recorded. The estimated injury rate was determined (injuries/1000 athlete-sessions). Mouth-guard use was recorded.

RESULTS:

During the 15-year study, 19 492 injuries were reported, with 56 (0.2%) recorded as dental injuries (23 tooth, 20 jaw, and 13 soft tissue). Injury rates were highest for girls' wrestling (0.243, confidence interval = 0-2.3), boys' judo (0.189, confidence interval = 0-3.6), and boys' soccer (0.127, confidence interval = 0.4-1.4). The football injury rate was 0.029 (confidence interval = 0.04-0.29), with no tooth injuries.

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence and injury rate of dental injuries was extremely low for all reported sports. A universal definition of dental injuries must be established to facilitate injury data collection and analysis.

PMID:
15592602
PMCID:
PMC535522

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