School teachers' knowledge of tooth avulsion and dental first aid before and after receiving information about avulsed teeth and replantation

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School teachers can play an important role in improving the prognosis of avulsed permanent teeth of school children after they are informed about the immediate and proper dental first aid steps to be taken at the time of an accident. The aims of this study were: (i) to assess the knowledge level of emergency measures for tooth avulsion in Kuwaiti intermediate school teachers and (ii) to determine if a short lecture about tooth avulsion and replantation could improve teachers' knowledge on this topic. Eighty-five teachers at two intermediate schools (children 10–14 years old) in Kuwait were interviewed using a questionnaire about their first-aid knowledge with particular focus on the following five categories: General knowledge of teeth and avulsion, replantation of primary and permanent teeth, how to clean an avulsed tooth before replantation, extra-oral time and storage methods and media for an avulsed tooth. For each category, a score ranging from 0–3 was possible. An informative 30-min lecture about tooth avulsion and replantation was presented to a group of 43 teachers. After the lecture, the knowledge level of the teachers was re-tested using the same method. Descriptive statistics was used to describe and analyze the data. Improvement in teacher knowledge to an adequate (score of 2) or complete (score of 3) level was observed after the lecture in all five categories. The general knowledge of tooth avulsion and replantation improved from 39% to 97% and knowledge of avulsed permanent and primary teeth from 8% to 71%. Knowledge of how to clean an avulsed tooth improved from 5% to 93%. The knowledge level on the importance of extra-alveolar time before replantation increased from 1% to 74% and knowledge of a suitable storage medium for the avulsed tooth improved from 4% to 86%. Many avulsed permanent teeth in school children can be saved by replantation if school teachers learn what to do when a tooth is avulsed. A lecture followed by discussion proved to be an effective and efficient method of intervention to enhance the knowledge level of teachers so that proper dental first-aid procedures can be achieved.

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