In the emergency situation, immediate decisions have to be taken. The prognosis for many trauma injuries is depending on a prompt and correct decision. For the clinician, it is not easy to gather all information and draw conclusions from scientific literature when facing a trauma patient. There is a need for guidelines for the clinician in such situations. The International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT) has developed guidelines for the emergency situation. This is the third time IADT is publishing guidelines for management of traumatic dental injuries. The first set of guidelines was published in 2001 and was followed by a new set of guidelines in 2007. It is now time to release a third set of guidelines.
As pointed out before, we are today far from evidence-based traumatology (1). This is because of the fact that traumatology is a field where it is not possible or ethical in the acute phase of the injury to ask for consent from patient and parents to participate in a randomized controlled study. Instead, we must still rely on results from clinical studies on later treatment, often retrospective, studies and experimental in vivo studies (2, 3). When writing guidelines, IADT has formed core groups of experts of different specialties with experience in research and clinic who have searched the literature, discussed, shared experience, and presented guideline documents based on evidence and best practice for further discussion and final approval of the IADT board of directors. In this issue, the first series of guideline documents: Fractures and Luxation of Permanent Teeth is presented. In following issues, guidelines for Avulsed permanent teeth and guidelines for traumatic dental injuries in the Primary dentition will be presented. The documents will be found on IADTs web site http://www.iadt-dentaltrauma.org, and the articles can also be accessed and downloaded via the same web page. Clinicians and trauma patients worldwide will really benefit from this.