Traumatic Dental Injuries in Children: The Experience of a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital


  • Nneka M. CHUKWUMAH, BDS, FWACS Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Benin, Benin City
  • Adebola O. EHIZELE, BChD, MPH FWACS) Department of Periodontics , University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria


traumatic dental injuries, children, risk factors, socioeconomic status, duration before presentation


Objective: Traumatic dental injuries occur commonly in children and thus a dental public health problem.
Trauma to anterior teeth, resulting in fracture, displacement or tooth loss can be destabilizing for both
parents and children and may have functional, esthetic and psychological effects on the child. The objective of
this study was to identify the sociodemographic and risk factors in children presenting with traumatic dental
Methods: This was a retrospective study involving patients, between the ages less than one to 16years of age,
managed for traumatic dental injuries between January 2008 and June 2016. Data on age, sex, parents'
occupation, level of education of parents, type of trauma, cause of trauma, place trauma occurred, tooth/teeth
involved, duration of trauma before presentation and treatment given were collected from patients case
Results: The study population consisted of 109 cases with traumatic dental injuries seen during the study
period. Children ages 6-11years (51.4%) constituted the greater percentage of the study population, males
(58.7%) and 42.2% were from the higher socioeconomic class. The most frequent class of trauma was Ellis
class IX (trauma to primary teeth) at 27.5% followed by Ellis class II at 26.6%. The most frequent place where
the trauma occurred was at home (42.2%) while falls was the most frequent cause of trauma (61.5%). A single
tooth was affected in 62.4% while 27.5% presented more than one year after the trauma. There was an
association between age and the cause of trauma (p=0.010), as well as duration before presentation
(p=0.005). Logistic regression analysis did not show that any of the sociodemographic or risk factors
assessed could be a significant predictor of traumatic dental injuries in the study population.
Conclusion: The main etiological factor for traumatic dental injuries was falls. Sociodemographic factors and
risk factors assessed were not significant determinants for the presence of traumatic dental injuries. There is
need to improve dental awareness through oral health education.
Keywords: traumatic dental injuries, children, risk factors, socioeconomic status, duration before presentation