Knowledge of emergency management of avulsed teeth among young physicians and dentists


Maha Abu-Dawoud, Ministry of Public Health, Dental Administration, Behbahani Bldg. – 8th floor, Al-Sharq, PO Box 1793, Safat 13018, Kuwait
Tel.: +965 648 9428


Abstract –  This study was designed to investigate the knowledge and attitude of newly graduated physicians and dentists regarding emergency management of avulsed teeth. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Thirty physicians and 30 dentists who graduated during the period 2000–2004 were surveyed. They all served in either hospitals or dental centres with emergency settings. All the participants that were asked were willing to participate. The majority of the physicians (83.3%) surveyed had not received information on what to do if a tooth is knocked-out and 96.6% did not have any dental health education course during their study. In contrast, nearly all the dentists (93.3%) had received information on what to do if a tooth is knocked-out. Regarding knowledge level, eight of the physicians (26.6%) demonstrated low knowledge while the remaining 22 (73.3%) had some knowledge; none of the physicians showed a high knowledge level. In sharp contrast, 22 dentists (78.5%) had high knowledge, six (21.4%) showed some knowledge and none demonstrated low knowledge. We conclude that emergency dental treatment is sometimes required to be provided by a physician before any dental contact. Unfortunately, the findings from this survey clearly suggest that very few physicians would provide appropriate emergency treatment. All medical staff personnel need to receive simple instructions about management of dental trauma. Most dentists had high knowledge regarding this issue; nevertheless, a few dentists, not graduated in Kuwait, were found to have limited knowledge, which needs to be improved.