Primary care dentists' experience of treating avulsed permanent teeth

Br Dent J. 2015 Sep 11;219(5):E4. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2015.673.


Introduction: An avulsed permanent tooth is one of the few true emergencies in dentistry. Children who suffer this injury require urgent dental care and prompt follow-up care. There is very limited evidence available regarding the provision of treatment for avulsion injuries in primary dental care.

Objectives: To explore the experience of UK dentists in relation to the management of avulsed permanent teeth.

Method: A self-completion questionnaire was designed and piloted. Questionnaires were sent to a random selection of one thousand GDPs with a stamped addressed return envelope. A second mailshot was sent to non-responders after eight weeks. Simple descriptive analysis was undertaken using Microsoft Excel. The results were compared with those from an earlier, similar study in Wales.

Results: A total response rate of 61% was achieved. Just over 40% of responding dentists recalled replanting an avulsed permanent tooth in a child.

Conclusions: Many dentists have limited or no experience of treating children with avulsed permanent teeth. Thirty-four percent of dentists have children with avulsion injuries under their care. Children with these traumatic injuries may benefit from shared care involving an interdisciplinary specialist team, in line with recommendations from the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry National Clinical Guidelines for Management of Avulsed Permanent Teeth in Children.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Dentition, Permanent*
  • General Practice, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Pediatric Dentistry / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth Avulsion / therapy*