Background: Avulsed frontal teeth often cannot be saved because of improper or lack of initial treatment. The result is a need for multiple interventions over the patient's lifetime, which also carry a high financial cost.
Methods: We explored the subject of lost anterior teeth in young patients with a PubMed search based on the term "prevalence of traumatic dental injuries" over the time period 2000-2010. In this article, we selectively review the publications retrieved by the search and give case examples to illustrate the proper initial treatment of children and adolescents (ages 6 to 17) with broken anterior teeth.
Results: The search retrieved 138 articles. Here, we review retrospective clinical studies of dental trauma between the ages of 6 and 17: only 6 adequately designed studies of this type were found. The estimated prevalence of anterior dental trauma in this age group ranged from 6.4% to 37.9%. The recommended initial steps for the preservation of traumatized teeth are easy to take. Avulsed teeth can and should be replanted at once. If there is no time, or if the patient simultaneously has other, life-threatening injuries, the avulsed teeth can be stored in a special nutrient medium until they can be replanted. Commercially available tooth rescue boxes enable replantation to be performed up to 24 hours after the injury.
Conclusion: The authors of the selected studies agree that dental trauma is often improperly treated. Timely treatment of injured anterior teeth prevents much further damage and expensive treatment for the affected young patients.