Practicability of a tooth rescue concept – the use of a tooth rescue box


Dr Yango Pohl, Poliklinik für Chirurgische Zahn-, Mund- und Kieferheilkunde, Welschnonnenstr. 17, D-53111 Bonn, Germany
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Abstract –  Healing following replantation of avulsed teeth is dependent upon short unphysiologic periods during the extraalveolar phase. A commercially available tooth rescue box was developed and distributed at schools in Hessen, a state in Germany. Aim of the study was to evaluate the availability times of rescue boxes and the storage periods of rescued teeth within the boxes. Two thousand one hundred tooth rescue boxes together with a questionnaire were distributed predominantly at schools. In case of usage of a box, the questionnaire should be filled out by patients and dentists and sent back for evaluation. One hundred seventy-two (8.2%) questionnaires were sent back. Eighteen questionnaires were incomplete. In the remaining 154 tooth rescue boxes, a total of 201 avulsed teeth and tooth crown fragments were rescued. When accidents occurred near a stored rescue box, the availability time was short (median: 5 min). It was significantly longer (median: 35 min) when the location of the accident was distant to a stored box. Storage of avulsed teeth in the tooth rescue box was longer (median: 2 h) than storage of fractured crown fragments (median: 1 h). Lay people (teachers, pupils) used the rescue boxes correctly without professional help or even advice through telephone. The usage of the tooth rescue box seemed to be self-explanatory and plausible to lay persons, very short availability times resulted when accidents occurred near stored boxes. Thus, an excellent healing prognosis can be anticipated after replantation. The storage periods of avulsed teeth before the commencement of treatment exceed by far the periods that are acceptable for alternative but unphysiologic media (saline, saliva, milk). It is concluded that tooth rescue boxes should be distributed at locations prone to tooth traumas (schools, kindergartens, sporting facilities, public pools) to enhance the prognosis of avulsed teeth. Emergency units (hospitals, ambulances) should be equipped with tooth rescue boxes as well as every dentist. Tooth rescue boxes are recommended for families with children.