Send to

Choose Destination
Dent Traumatol. 2020 Feb 3. doi: 10.1111/edt.12548. [Epub ahead of print]

Traumatic dental injuries presenting to a paediatric emergency department in a tertiary children's hospital, Adelaide, Australia.

Author information

Dental Department, Hutt Valley District Health Board, Hut Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand.
Adelaide Dental School, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.
Private Practice, Adelaide, Australia.



There is a scarcity of data regarding paediatric traumatic dental injuries (TDI) in tertiary teaching hospitals. Therefore, the aim of this study was to review the TDI presenting to the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide (Australia) on an emergency basis and to identify the characteristics of the presenting patient cohort, their accident, injuries and management.


Medical health records of 337 paediatric patients attending the Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) for the management of TDI over 18 months were prospectively reviewed.


TDI were more frequent in children under 5 years of age (56.1%) with a predominance of injuries sustained by males (63.8%). The accident characteristics included weekend occurrence (35.6%), the most common aetiology was falls (64.4%) and many incidents occurred at home (48.5%). Overall, 654 teeth were injured with the majority affecting deciduous teeth (58.4%) and the maxillary central incisors (69.9%). The most frequent injury was lateral luxation (27.5%). The majority of patients were referred to the Paediatric Dentistry Department (60.8%). However, almost half of presenting patients did not require further management locally and were subsequently discharged to their dental practitioners (39.2%). Most patients receiving treatment were managed under general anaesthetic (36.9%), and there was often a delay of 3-12 hours before treatment commenced (49.1%). Similarly, more severe injuries in the permanent dentition (avulsion, extrusion, root fracture, intrusion, alveolar fracture) were more frequently managed between 3 and 12 hours following the accident.


The patient, accident, injury and management characteristics are comparable to what has previously been reported in other studies in paediatric populations. Injuries affecting the permanent dentition are more likely to be managed within 3 and 12 hours in an outpatient setting, whereas injuries affecting the deciduous dentition had a delay in management between 12 and 24 hours under general anaesthetic.


dental emergency; dental trauma; hospital; paediatric; paediatric emergency department; traumatic dental injuries


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center