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Sports Dentistry - Education and Prevention: Play it Right!

Course Number: 679

Dental Trauma Prevalence

Traumatic dental injuries (TDIs) account for a considerable proportion of bodily injuries. Studies have shown that more than one billion living people have had a TDI. The global TDI rate being estimated at 2.82 events per 100 persons per year (95% CI, 2.28-3.42) based on 233,480 individuals.2 Using the 2016 World population approximately 900 million people had at least one TDI and approximately 180 million children had at least one TDI in their primary teeth. This led to a conclusion that TDI is a neglected condition which should be ranked fifth if it was included in the list of the world's most frequent acute/chronic diseases and injuries.3,4

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A publication in The Lancet Global Health has highlighted that traumatic dental injuries are now the fifth most prevalent disease or injury after caries, tension-type headache, iron-deficiency anemia, and age-related and other hearing loss. Traumatic dental injuries are more prevalent than a migraine and genital herpes.5

As outlined in these papers, although traumatic dental injuries are not lethal, they do have a very high-cost burden. It is estimated to be between $2,000,000 and $5,000,000 per one million inhabitants, and their management is more time-consuming than that of all other bodily injuries. Adequate dental rehabilitation for disadvantaged populations becomes less likely to occur which can lead to negative social, functional, and emotional effects, especially in children and adolescents.2-5

Please take a moment to read The Lancet Global Health paper and act with your local public health authorities to improve the recognition of traumatic dental injuries. Recognition of the extent of the problem is the first step towards improving the collection of data and towards improving access to care for all injured people.