Purpose: The aim of this survey was to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of Iranian elementary school teachers with regard to emergency management of dental trauma, in a northwestern urban area.
Materials and methods: A total of 160 teachers from 40 schools, all selected randomly, were included in the study. A three-part self-administered questionnaire surveying teachers' background, knowledge of the growth patterns of children's dentition, general dental trauma, fractured and avulsed teeth, as well as attitudes regarding dental trauma was used. Chi-square analysis was performed to examine the effect of educational background, gender, length of service and topics they teach on their knowledge and attitudes on the management of dental trauma.
Results: A majority of the participants had received tertiary education. Regarding the management of tooth fracture, 52.4% provided appropriate answers. A similar proportion (50.6%) realised that they should replant a permanent avulsed tooth. However, they had little knowledge on the correct procedures; less than a fifth were acquainted with the urgent need for action. Only 38% knew about appropriate washing mediums and about a third were familiar with proper storage media. Health teachers and those with higher educational background (16 years of education) were significantly more knowledgeable regarding the disciplines of avulsion management. Teachers with a high level of experience (third decade) were also more knowledgeable in terms of prevalence of dental trauma accidents.
Conclusions: The current survey indicated a substantial lack of knowledge regarding dental trauma management among elementary school teachers. Educational campaigns to improve their knowledge and awareness seem crucial for this group of adults who are usually the first to respond in cases of dental trauma accidents in schools.