Abstract – Background: Traumatic dental injuries frequently occur at school environment. However, teachers are not prepared to provide the adequate emergency management.
Aim: The objectives of this study were to identify the factors associated with teachers’ knowledge about dental trauma and to describe school managers’ perception of possible strategies to change the scenario.
Subjects and methods: Our sample comprised 405 teachers from 17 public schools in Canoas, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, whose data were collected regarding demographic variables, training and professional experience information. The outcome was completely inadequate knowledge regarding trauma measured based on the answers to a structured questionnaire about dental fractures and tooth avulsion. The sample also included 14 school managers who answered a semi-structured questionnaire about the causes of teachers’ inadequate knowledge and possible strategies to change the scenario.
Results: The multivariate analysis demonstrated that the probability of completely inadequate knowledge was higher among male teachers, with less professional experience, who had not achieved a graduate degree, who had not witnessed at least one dental trauma case at school and who had not been trained in first-aid. School managers identified the following causes of inadequate knowledge: the fact that the topic is not approached during the teachers’ training and continual education and lack of experience involving dental trauma at school. In addition, they suggested that lectures and courses including written and visual communication should be offered, as well as training workshops.
Conclusions: Strategies to improve the teachers’ knowledge about dental trauma must take into consideration the results of the present study and optimize the inclusion of this topic in the teachers’ curricular training and pedagogical education in a continuous manner.