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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1-6

Assessment of knowledge and awareness among medical doctors toward emergency management of dental trauma in State of Himachal Pradesh: A survey

Department of Pedodontics, Himachal Dental College, Sunder Nagar, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication15-Sep-2017

Correspondence Address:
I Sood
Department of Pedodontics, Himachal Dental College, Sunder Nagar - 175 002, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJDS.IJDS_72_17

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Aim and Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and attitude of medical doctors towards the emergency management of dental trauma in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey in which, 500 medical doctors were randomly included in the study and the participation was voluntary. Data regarding the emergency management of avulsed tooth was collected using a self-administered questionnaire having questions which were close ended. Statistical analysis was carried out. Chi-square test was used to analyze the data gathered. Results: It was found that frequency of occurrence of soft tissue injuries of the face was 83%, laceration injuries was 79%, nasal bone fracture was 66%, intraoral soft tissue injuries of the lip was 67%, avulsion was 77%, and frequency of dental trauma of maxillary central incisor was 63%. Furthermore, the frequency of respondents having the knowledge about reimplantation was 46% and frequency of respondents having knowledge about the time of reimplantation was 60%. Frequency of respondents having knowledge about the preservation of tooth for reimplantation was 51%, whereas frequency of respondents having no knowledge about the preference of preservative medium was 47%. Frequency of respondents who have not seen traumatic injuries of primary teeth was 55% and the most frequently administered first aid was tetanus injection having 67%. Conclusion: The results from this study suggest that knowledge of the management of dental injuries among medical professionals/doctors was inadequate. However, appropriate training can significantly increase their knowledge.

Keywords: Dental trauma, frequency, medical doctors, survey

How to cite this article:
Sood I, Gupta K, Sharma A K, Gaur A, Pathania V, Thakur V B. Assessment of knowledge and awareness among medical doctors toward emergency management of dental trauma in State of Himachal Pradesh: A survey. Indian J Dent Sci 2017;9, Suppl S1:1-6

How to cite this URL:
Sood I, Gupta K, Sharma A K, Gaur A, Pathania V, Thakur V B. Assessment of knowledge and awareness among medical doctors toward emergency management of dental trauma in State of Himachal Pradesh: A survey. Indian J Dent Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Apr 20];9, Suppl S1:1-6. Available from: http://www.ijds.in/text.asp?2017/9/5/1/214935

  Introduction Top

Traumatic dental injuries are the fourth most common bodily injury as well as facial injury among the 7–30 year age group, in which incidence ranges from 3.9% to 58.6%.[1] Crown fractures form the most frequent type of injury, comprising 26%–76% of injuries to the permanent dentition [2] whereas luxation injuries comprise 15%–61% of all dental injuries [3] and mainly involving maxillary central incisors. The soft tissue laceration as a result of trauma is most commonly associated with road traffic accidents but can also be seen in sports injuries or from fall.[1],[4]

Avulsion accounts for approximately 0.5%–16% traumatic injuries in the permanent dentition and 7%–13% in the primary dentition.[5],[6],[7] Prognosis in avulsion depends on the time avulsed tooth is kept outside the mouth, storage medium, and the place where the traumatic incident occurred.[2],[8],[9] Avulsed teeth can be saved if replanted immediately within 30 min [2],[6],[7] or stored in a physiologic solution such as saline, Hank's balanced salt solution, milk,[10],[11],[12] saliva, or cold tap water until professional help is attained.[6],[7]

The objective for treatment in case of avulsed permanent teeth is reimplantation as soon as possible and stabilizing the replanted tooth to optimize the healing and neurovascular supply. However, reimplantation in the primary dentition is contraindicated because of possibility of damage to the permanent successor.[13],[14],[15],[16]

Importance of providing dental knowledge regarding immediate management of traumatic dental injuries to general population as well as medical professionals, to make them more aware of the problem which could affect the final prognosis and has received wide acknowledgment. Hence, there is a need to involve nondental primary health-care professionals, for providing primary diagnosis and required basic supportive therapy for dental trauma patients, until proper treatment is given to the patient.[1],[2]

Studies [1],[4],[5],[17],[18],[19] have shown that, there is little knowledge regarding the immediate management of dental trauma among general population which can be present at the time of injury. The general medical practitioners and physicians are frequently the first to actually provide primary treatment and to ensure proper and appropriate management of the dental trauma.[2],[6],[8],[18] So keeping in view of the importance of the medical practitioners' information regarding the dental trauma, the present study aims to assess the knowledge, awareness, and attitude among medical doctors toward the emergency management of the dental trauma in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

  Materials and Methods Top

A total of 500 medical doctors were included in the study, of which 32 were interns, 152 graduates, 136 post graduates, and 180 were medical specialists and staff from different faculties. The participation in the study was voluntary and strict confidentiality was assured to the participants. The data were collected by distributing a self-designed questionnaire consisting of 13 questions. The self-administered questionnaire used for the study was adopted and modified from some previous studies,[6],[17],[20],[21] with some new questions added to it. The questionnaire consisted of two different parts: one pertaining to questions for assessing awareness of dentofacial injury in general and second part to assess awareness about dental trauma and its management, all comprising 13 questions. The data collected were analyzed and expressed using Chi-square test with P< 0.05 considered to be significant.

Inclusion criteria

  1. Medical professionals including medical specialists, postgraduate students, graduates, and interns
  2. Medical doctors and practitioners in both government and private settings
  3. Teaching staff from medical colleges also included.

  Results Top

A total of 500 individuals participated in this study, of which 32 were interns, 152 graduates, 136 post graduates, and 180 were medical specialists from different faculties. Among them, 339 were males and 161 were females. The data collected were analyzed and expressed using Chi-square test with P< 0.05 considered statistically significant.

Response to basic questions

Most common injury was soft tissue injuries followed by jaw fractures which were witnessed by 42% medical specialists, followed by 30% postgraduates and 28% graduates among different dentofacial injuries. In soft tissue injuries, laceration was the most commonly seen injury observed by 44% of medical specialists/masters, followed by 32% postgraduates followed closely by 28% graduates. Maxilla and mandible fractures were the most common fractures seen among facial bone fractures by 48% medical specialists, followed by 28% postgraduates and 23% graduates. While among intraoral soft tissue injuries, lip and tongue injuries were most commonly witnessed by around 45% medical specialists followed by 29% postgraduates and 27% graduates [Table 1].
Table 1: Responses to basic questions

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Results to applied questions

Tetanus injection and bleeding arrest were reported to be the most common first aid measures administered by 48% medical specialists, followed by 31% postgraduates and 23% graduates. Among dental trauma injuries, avulsion and displacement injuries were most commonly witnessed by 40% medical specialists, followed by 34% postgraduates and 24% graduates. For the most commonly involved tooth in dental trauma, maxillary central incisor was witnessed by 39% medical specialists followed by 28% postgraduates and 27% graduates. Reimplantation of an avulsed tooth was known to about 42% medical specialists, followed by 32% postgraduates and 22% graduates [Table 2].
Table 2: Responses to applied questions

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For awareness regarding time for reimplantation, all four categories of medical specialists, postgraduates, graduates, and interns had low knowledge [Table 3]. About preservation of a knocked out tooth, around 40% medical specialists followed by 31% postgraduates and 23% graduates had knowledge, whereas awareness regarding the preservative/storage medium, saline was thought to be the most appropriate medium by 45% medical specialists, followed by 28% postgraduates and 24% graduates. Traumatic injuries in primary teeth were witnessed by 46% medical specialists followed by 29% postgraduates and 21% graduates, whereas avulsion was the most commonly witnessed by 50% medical specialists, followed by 33% postgraduates and 13% graduates among different types of dental trauma injuries in primary teeth.
Table 3: Responses to applied questions

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  Discussion Top

Traumatic dental injury is not the result of a disease but a consequence of several factors that will accumulate throughout life if not looked upon.[22] A number of studies have been done pertaining to the knowledge of emergency management of dental trauma among dentist.[11],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28] Few studies have already reported the low level of knowledge among nondental health professionals such as physicians.[1],[8],[11],[18],[29] However, there is a paucity of research like this which compared the knowledge and awareness of interns, graduates, postgraduates, and medical specialists regarding dental trauma, hence our study is being done.

In the present study, medical specialists had seen maximum cases of dentofacial injuries (161) followed by post graduates (117). Soft tissue injuries (83%) were the most commonly seen dentofacial injury, and the similar results were seen in the studies done by Díaz et al.[29] (78%). After analyzing knowledge on the type of soft tissue injury witnessed, laceration (79%) was the most common which is similar to the results shown by Ozinko et al.[30] and Perez et al.[31] with specialist's practitioners again being the majority, followed by postgraduates [Table 1].

Regarding facial bone fractures, majority of medical professionals said to have witnessed maxilla and mandible fractures 60%, which are similar to the studies done by Kelly andHarrigan [32] and Yildirgan et al.[33] (53%). When the knowledge on intraoral soft tissue injury was analyzed, majority of medical professionals had witnessed lip injury the most (73%). These results were similar to the study done by Flores et al.[15] and Nazan et al.,[34] who also stated lip injuries to be the most common soft tissue injuries seen by medical specialists [Table 1].

Regarding knowledge and awareness of general first aid administration, it was observed that, for all events, knowledge was ample among all medical professionals, with tetanus injection 67% being the most common first aid delivered. Avulsion (65%) occurrence was the most commonly seen dental trauma type, with medical specialists being majority followed by postgraduates, which was similar to studies done by Dali et al.[6] and Jyothi et al.,[17] where 56.6% and 78.5% knew about avulsion, but the results were contrary to the study done by Nazan et al.[34] where crown fractures (53%) were the most common fracture [Table 2].

In the present study, maxillary central incisor 63% was the most commonly seen fractured tooth by the medical specialists, which is similar to studies done by Calişkan and Türkün,[35] Kowash et al.,[36] Qazi et al.,[11] and Saroğlu and Sönmez,[37] who also had stated maxillary central incisor as the most commonly fractured. On knowledge regarding reimplantation of an avulsed tooth, interestingly 46% of participants had correct knowledge, specialists medical again forming majority 43%, and postgraduates 33%, which was similar to the study done by Talluri et al.[20] where 65% of doctors knew about reimplantation [Table 2].

Regarding knowledge on time of reimplantation, it was observed that 60% respondents had no knowledge on this query. In the present study, 22% gave the correct answer which is immediate or within ½ h of trauma [26] with postgraduates and medical specialists being the majority giving correct answer, which is similar to the study done by Venkataramana et al.[38] where 23% of doctors gave correct answer. Nearly 52% doctors had the right knowledge that knocked out tooth can be preserved for reimplantation, which is similar to the study done by Hamilton et al.[39] where 36.4% had no knowledge but was different from Abu-Dawoud et al.[5] Nearly 83% and Walker and Brenchley [19] 67% had no knowledge of the concerned. When knowledge on preservation medium for avulsed tooth was assessed, it was observed that 47% of respondents had no knowledge of the preservation medium among all the medical professionals. Moreover, saline (37%) was the most common medium chosen by the rest of the respondents, with specialists medical respondents being the majority, followed by postgraduates, the results being similar to the studies done by Dali et al.[6] (59%), Venkataramana et al.[38] (53%), and Hashim [2] (42%), where saline was observed to be the most accepted preservation medium, being chosen because of its physiologic osmolarity. Only 10% had correct knowledge that hanks balanced salt solution was the best preservative medium, which is the ideal medium as observed by Qazi et al.,[11] Trope,[40] and Baginska et al.[41] Only 40% medical professionals had seen traumatic injuries in primary teeth, which is similar to the results as shown by the study done by Ahuja et al.[42] where 34% had witnessed dental trauma injury to the children. Avulsion 26% being observed the most in primary teeth trauma cases, which is contrary to the results observed by Talluri et al.[20] which stated luxation injuries to be the most in primary [Table 3].

  Conclusion Top

In the present study, it was observed that seniority in profession and specialization field did play a role in the responses given by the participants to some of the queries. However, overall, it was observed that awareness regarding dental trauma and its management was comparatively poor among all categories of medical professionals. As these medical professionals provide a vital link between the patients with dental trauma and the dentists, we need to educate them on emergency management of dental trauma at their level.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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