Frequency and characteristics of occupational dental trauma

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Abstract

Background

Dental trauma at the workplace may have important clinical and occupational consequences, but little is known about its profile.

Aims

To describe the frequency and characteristics of work-related dental injuries.

Methods

For all patients with occupational dental trauma seen at the FREMAP Hospital of Barcelona (Spain) between January 2000 and December 2006, we recorded their characteristics, type of work and nature of the trauma, including cause of the accident, extent of trauma, reason for referral to a dentist, and days of sick leave.

Results

The frequency of dental trauma was 1.71 per 1000 occupational accidents attended and was related to the worker’s occupation. In security services, it was 7.37 per 1000 and 2.01 in transport services. The frequency was similar in both genders. The most common causal mechanisms were direct impact (38%), traffic accidents (29%) and falls at the same level (16%). Causal mechanisms differed according to gender and type of job. Most injuries consisted of dental fracture (54%), and 67% of the patients required referral to a dental surgery. Injuries were limited to the mouth in 52% of cases, 8% of which required sick leave, with a mean duration of 23.0±21.8 days.

Conclusions

The frequency of dental trauma in this working population was low and was related to the worker’s occupation. Causal mechanisms differed according to gender and type of job. Most dental injuries were severe and required referral to a dental surgery. Frequency of sick leave was low.

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