Management of dental avulsion injuries: a survey of dental support staff in Cairns, Australia

Abraham, Yannis, Christy, Roshini, Gomez-Kunicki, Americo, Cheng, Ting, Eskarous, Silivia, Samaan, Verona, Khan, Ahsen, and Sholapurkar, Amar (2021) Management of dental avulsion injuries: a survey of dental support staff in Cairns, Australia. Dentistry Journal, 9 (1). 4.

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The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of dental support staff in providing appropriate first-aid advice regarding dental avulsion emergencies. Methods: This study was reported according to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines for cross-sectional studies. Dental support staff (includes dental assistants, administrative staff and other non-clinical staff) were contacted and data were collected from 50 private dental clinics across the Greater Cairns Area, Queensland, Australia. These data were collected through an online survey throughout 2020. Descriptive statistics and Pearson’s Chi-squared test was used to analyze the data and any associations between categorical outcomes. Results: This survey yielded a response rate of 34.1% with a margin of error of 10.3%. More than four-tenths of participants (42%) reported that they had received some form of dental avulsion management training previously. All but five participants (92%) denoted that they would immediately replant an avulsed permanent tooth. More than half of all participants would choose to rinse a soiled avulsed tooth with fresh milk (55%) and transport that tooth in fresh milk (65%) should they not be able to replant the tooth at the site. Almost nine in every ten participants (85%) expressed willingness to further their training in this area. Knowledge in replanting avulsed permanent teeth was found to be significantly impacted by gender, age, years of experience and participation in formal avulsion training. Male participants were found to be significantly more likely (p = 0.025) to replant a permanent avulsed tooth than their female counterparts. Participants who were 40 years of age and above were found to be significantly more likely to choose fresh milk to transport avulsed teeth (p = 0.0478). Older participants (p = 0.0021), alongside those who had greater years of experience (p = 0.0112) and those who had undertaken formal avulsion training (p = 0.0106) were all significantly more likely to express greater confidence in their ability to manage dental avulsion injuries. Participants who had previously received some form of education regarding avulsion injury management were also most likely to warrant further education and training in this area (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that dental support staff in the Greater Cairns Area seem to have a fair grasp of first-aid knowledge regarding the management of dental avulsion injuries. This result indicates that this knowledge has been picked up through years of experience, rather than a formal education. Despite this, one would expect people who work in the dental industry to be able to provide accurate and appropriate assistance during dental emergencies, hence, further training is warranted to ensure optimum patient outcomes.

Item ID: 65424
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2304-6767
Keywords: avulsion; dental trauma; emergency management; pediatric dentistry; public health dentistry
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2021 21:54
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3203 Dentistry > 320399 Dentistry not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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