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AAP issues guidance on care for dental trauma


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its Section on Oral Health have issued a clinical report on managing dental trauma in children aged 1 to 21 years in the primary care setting.

Experts say the guidelines are important because children with dental injuries often go to their medical homes before they see their dentists, and an injured tooth’s survival is time dependent.

According to the International Association of Dental Traumatology (IADT), about 1 in every 4 school-aged children experiences some sort of dental trauma. In addition, about 1 in every 3 adults experiences trauma to permanent teeth with the majority of injuries occurring before age 19 years.

The report outlines a systematic approach to assessing dental trauma, including the initial clinical assessment, administration of first aid, and a determination of whether radiographic assessment is necessary.

The report then reviews the basic dental trauma classifications and the necessary immediate treatment for each type of injury. The guidelines pay particular attention to outlining the differences in treatment recommendations for primary and permanent tooth injuries and also to recognizing when injuries require immediate treatment by a dentist versus when they can be initially managed by a primary care provider and then subsequently referred to a dentist.

In addition, the report suggests that pediatricians counsel parents and caregivers about ways to help their children reduce the risk of dental trauma, for example, by wearing mouth guards for sports, and that they establish relationships with local general and pediatric dentists to facilitate referral of patients.

For more information, visit the IADT online dental trauma guide.



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