SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract – Background/Aim: Few studies have investigated how patients feel about traumatic injuries to teeth. Dentists may focus on treating an injury and neglect to address how the patient views the severity, or aesthetics. Addressing these issues may improve trauma management and communication between dentists and patients. The aim of the study was to compare children’s, adolescents’ and young adults’ perceptions of common dental injuries to the maxillary central incisor teeth. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 138 participants selected by convenience sampling and divided into 6- to 10-year, 11- to 17-year and 18- to 24-year age groups. Participants were shown six coloured photographs of traumatic injuries to central incisors and asked four questions. Data were analysed using SPSS. Group differences were evaluated using Mann–Whitney U and Kruskal–Wallis H tests. Results and Conclusions: There were statistically significant differences between the 6- to 10-year and 18- to 24-year age groups as to which traumatic injury would hurt the most (P < 0.05). Responses from younger participants appeared to be affected by the presence of blood in photographs, while young adults were more ‘tooth-focused.’ Younger children selected extrusion as the most painful injury, and the oldest group selected the complicated crown fracture. For the youngest age group, a missing anterior tooth was least concerning aesthetically, while young adults were most likely to choose discolouration (P < 0.05). Most in each age group thought crown fractures (particularly complicated ones) would be the most difficult for a dentist to treat. Conclusions: Statistically significant differences (P < 0.05) were found among the youngest and oldest age groups in their perceptions of which type of injury would hurt most and which injury was the least attractive. This study suggests that children and young adults may perceive the significance of their dental injuries quite differently than dental professionals.