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Knowledge of physicians in hospital emergency rooms in Israel on their role in cases of avulsion of permanent incisors

Knowledge of physicians in hospital emergency rooms in Israel on their role in cases of avulsion of permanent incisors

International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 13(1): 13-19

The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge of physicians in hospital emergency room care on their possible role in cases of traumatic loss of permanent incisors. A questionnaire was sent to directors of emergency room facilities in hospitals in Israel regarding the medical team at the emergency room in the hospital, availability of an in-house dental service and existence of a protocol for management of avulsed teeth. Another questionnaire, completed by physicians in the emergency room, contained demographic questions and questions regarding their knowledge of management of avulsed permanent teeth. The findings of the study showed that only 4% (12 of 335 physicians) would provide an appropriate initial treatment that, if followed by treatment by a dentist as recommended, could save the avulsed tooth. No correlation was found between knowledge of appropriate treatment of avulsed teeth and type of specialty, years of experience, previous exposure to information on trauma to the teeth and gender. The only significant association was found between physicians' knowledge and having a dentist spouse. Most of the physicians had never attended any formal seminar or lecture or received printed instructions on the management of avulsed teeth. Medical students and physicians in hospitals' emergency rooms should be made aware of their possible role in cases of avulsion of permanent teeth, in order to minimize late complications associated with such injuries. One possible way to achieve this goal is through education during and after training and introduction of a formal protocol for treatment of avulsed permanent teeth and other dental injuries.

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Accession: 046508482

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PMID: 12542619

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-263x.2003.00414.x

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