Dental trauma in a pediatric emergency department referral center

Emily Hall, Patricia Hickey, Thuy Nguyen-Tran, Jeff Louie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe dental and associated oral injuries in a pediatric population that presents to an emergency department. Methods: We performed a retrospective study and identified children from January 2007 to September 2011. Charts were reviewed for any subject, age from newborn to younger than 19 years, based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes for any dental or oral injury. Data abstraction included demographics, time of day of presentation, location and identification of tooth (s) injured, management, and disposition. Results: We identified 108 children with dental and if present, associated oral injuries. The median age was 12.3 years, the most common tooth injured were the primary (25.9%) or permanent (62%) upper central incisors, and the majority of subjects presented in the afternoon (mean time was 3:50 PM, SD ±24 minutes). A large proportion of dental injuries occurred in patients with permanent dentation (62%) and half of all children had more than 1 tooth injury. The majority of children (75%) were evaluated by either pediatric dental, oral surgery, or otolaryngology services, whereas 3.7% of the cases required multiple services. Twenty-five percent of children had an associated jaw fracture. Eighty-three percent of children were discharged home, of those, 49.1% were prescribed opioids, and 38.3% oral antibiotics. Conclusions: Emergency departments are often relied upon to evaluate and treat simple and complex dental and oral injuries. The ability to use a multidisciplinary team to manage pediatric oral and dental trauma is essential for care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-826
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Dental injury
  • Jaw fracture
  • Oral injury


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