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Traumatic dental injuries and their management among children aged 6 -12 years in Dar es salaam, Tanzania

M Alexander
IA Kida


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine, by utilizing patient records, the various types of dental trauma and the treatment provided among children aged 6 - 12 years.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective cross sectional survey was conducted at Dental department, Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The subjects were obtained from the register books available at the Dental Department of the Muhimbili National Hospital. Records of all sixty seven (67) dental patients aged six to twelve years who received treatment for dental trauma from January 2001 to January 2003 were obtained. Results were presented in tables and the data analysed using Epi Info 2002 statistical package.

Results: All together, sixty-seven children presented with a total of 101 injured teeth. The age distribution of the study group was found to have a peak at 6 - 9 years. Thirty-nine children (58.2%) sustained injuries to one tooth, 24 (35.8%) children had injuries to two teeth and only 4 (6%) children injured three or more teeth. Of the 101 total injured teeth, deciduous teeth constituted 16.8% and permanent teeth 83.2%. The upper anterior teeth (incisors and canines) in both dentitions were the most frequently affected teeth (76.2%), followed by the lower anterior teeth, while posterior teeth (premolars and molars) were the least affected. The most frequently observed dental injury was complicated crown fracture (36.6%), followed by uncomplicated crown fracture (30.7%). Subluxation and Extrusion were the least sustained types of dental injury (2.0%) and there was no case with a tooth avulsion. The most frequently offered treatment of injured teeth was either crown build-up, root canal treatment or splinting. Only 20% of all teeth were extracted.

Conclusion: From this study it is concluded that the observed correct treatment of traumatic dental injuries is the success in the part of hospital based management, but controversy remain in the community based management of dental injuries. The findings of this report thus stress the importance of prevention of dental trauma and to minimize its complications through proper treatment, use of mouth guards, supervision of children during play, orthodontic treatment of proclined incisors, and educational programs.

Tanzania Dental Journal Vol. 12(1) 2005: 9-12

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eISSN: 0856-0625