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Prevalence of dental trauma in 6000 patients with facial injuries: implications for prevention.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Innsbruck, Austria.



In contrast to epidemiologic studies on facial injuries reporting on dental trauma, facial bone fractures with dentoalveolar injuries, or soft tissue injuries individually, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the overall place of dental trauma in facial injuries. This was a retrospective investigation of the impact of sport, work, violence, traffic, household, and play accidents in the relationships among dental trauma, facial trauma, and other concomitant trauma. Finally, preventive considerations are discussed.


Six thousand patients registered at the University Hospital of Innsbruck's Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery during a period of 6 years 4 months were admitted for dental trauma, facial trauma, or both. Records were analyzed for cause of injury, age, gender, monthly distribution, frequency, type of injury, and frequency of dental trauma in relation to facial injuries and concomitant injuries.


The incidence of dental injuries with respect to the total number of facial injuries was as follows: 57.8% in play and household accidents, 50.1% in sports accidents, 38.6% in accidents at work, 35.8% in acts of violence, 34.2% in traffic accidents, and 31% in unspecified accidents. The overall incidence revealed was 48.25%.


Our findings support the fact that in the mosaic of traumatic injuries, the frequencies of tooth trauma and its sequelae are underestimated and that such trauma and sequelae occur without a predictable pattern of intensity and extensiveness. Preventive approaches are the sole way to minimize the number of these injuries. Substantial progress made in treating facial and dental trauma in the last 2 decades only improves functional and esthetic outcomes among the population that has suffered dental injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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