Prevalence and handedness correlates of traumatic injuries to the permanent incisors in 13–17-year-old adolescents in Erzurum, Turkey


Varol Canakci, Dişhekimligi Fakültesi, Atatürk Üniversitesi, Periodontoloji Anabilim Dal1, 25240 Erzurum, Türkiye
Tel: (off) +90 442 2311812/(res) +90 442 2353950
Fax: +90 442 2360945


Abstract  – The objectives of the present study were to explore the relationship between dental trauma and handedness, and to assess the prevalence of traumatic injuries to the permanent incisors of 13–17-year-old patients, seeking treatment for various dental conditions in Erzurum, Turkey. A questionnaire focusing on handedness was administered to these patients. Handedness was assessed by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (Oldfield, 1971). Hand preference was divided into two classes for convenience in data analysis: (i) right-handers (GSc from 80 to 100); and (ii) left-handers (GSc from −80 to −100). This study included the 13–17-year-old group patients who had GSc as described above. Thus, the present study was carried out on 2180 (1252 male and 928 female, with a mean age of 14.9 years) out of 2392 patients. The clinical examinations and radiographic assessments were performed in full-designed dental chairs. Preliminary analysis showed no differences in rates of handedness with respect to sex and age. Overall, 10.4% of the patients were left-handers. A total of 292 (13.4%) of 2180 patients examined had one or more traumatized permanent incisors. The proportion of dental trauma was significantly higher in males than in females, 17.41% in males as compared to 7.97% in females; and ratio of the affected males to females was about 2.18. Sex difference in the prevalence of traumatized permanent incisors was statistically significant (P < 0.001). That is, males had a significantly higher risk of dental trauma than females (P < 0.001; odds ratio: 2.49; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.88, 3.23). There was a higher level of traumatized permanent incisors among left-handers than among right-handers. 28.3% of left-handers and 11.7% of right-handers had dental trauma. This difference in the prevalence of traumatized permanent incisors for handedness was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Indeed, left-handers had a significantly higher risk on dental trauma than right-handers (P < 0.001; odds ratio: 3.09; 95% CI 2.23, 4.29). The primary causative factor in the occurrence of trauma was the fall (27.7%). Then came violence and fight as the second most frequent cause of trauma (24%), followed by sports injury (18.8%). Trauma resulting from collisions and traffic accidents were accounted as 13.7 and 11.3% of all cases, respectively. The other causes were 4.5%. In conclusion, the present study suggests that left-handed adolescents have more frequent permanent incisor tooth trauma than right-handed adolescents. Left-handedness, therefore, appears to be a risk factor for trauma in 13–17-year-old adolescents.