Professional and public objectives
Traumatic dental injuries represent a complex diagnostic problem with a multitude of treatment options to choose from.
The different kinds of fractures (9) and luxations (6) may be combined in 54 different ways, each resulting in a trauma scenario with individual treatment demands and prognosis in regard to pulp and periodontal healing. This complexity explains that very few dentists in the world are fully updated on an “evidence based” approach to diagnosis and treatment of traumatic dental injuries.
To illustrate let us give an example: A lateral luxation injury will elicit a number of treatment choices. Should the tooth be repositioned or not (knowing that the repositioning procedure may represent a new trauma), if so what type of splint (rigid / flexible) and for how long. Furthermore, should antibiotics be administered on a prophylactic basis to prevent healing complications? All these questions will have to be considered before an evidence based treatment can be initiated. With the multitude of trauma scenarios in the permanent dentition, each of them with specific treatment options, it is no wonder that treatment of traumatic dental injuries has become controversial and studies performed in various countries have shown that presumably half of all patients receive harmful or unnecessary treatment.
The purpose of the Dental Trauma Guide is therefore via a visualization of the IADT trauma guidelines to promote the application of treatment procedures which have been documented in clinical and experimental studies to enhance pulp and periodontal healing after trauma.
We believe that the Dental Trauma Guide has a great potential to improve dental treatment worldwide by linking actual treatment to the present knowledge about methods to promote wound healing. The Dental Trauma Guide will evidence base the complex array of treatments offered to traumatized patients.
It is the aspiration of the creators of the Dental Trauma Guide that it will lift the level of care for dental trauma patients worldwide.
The global phenomenon of dental trauma is estimated to affect 50-60% of the world’s population (including both primary and permanent dentitions). It is estimated that the world has currently around 3 billion dental trauma victims with 60 million new patients each year.
In 2001 a study was conducted in Denmark where the cost of the first “definitive” treatment of dental traumas was calculated,and it amounted to 2-5 mill. US$ per million inhabitants, a figure which has increased since then. This is certainly imposing a serious financial burden on all trauma patients and to some extent also on the society.
It is of great importance that such injuries are examined by a dentist as soon as possible after the accident so that proper treatment can be initiated.
If the guide can optimize the initial treatment, which is so crucial for the final outcome, this may hopefully lessen the multiplicity of problems ahead of all trauma victims.