Abstract: Aim Dental trauma is a frequent finding in people with special health care needs. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of dental trauma in a sample of Italian children and adolescents with special health care needs.
Materials and methods 556 medical and dental records of children and adolescents visited from January 2010 to March 2015 were examined. Information about medical diagnosis, gender, site and type of dental trauma (DT) were collected. According to age and reflecting the dentition stage, the sample was divided into 3 groups: subjects aged 0–5 years (group A, primary dentition), 6–11 years (group B, mixed dentition), 12–18 years (group C, permanent dentition).
Results 113 individuals experienced a DT (prevalence 20.3%), with no difference in relation to gender. Individuals with cerebral palsy and autism showed the highest frequency of DT: 39.6% and 30.4%, respectively. The highest frequency of DT occurred both in group A (21.8%) and B (21.5%), which differed significantly from group C (9%). Avulsion was the most frequent type of DT in the primary dentition (24%) and enamel-dentin fracture without pulp exposure in the permanent dentition (60%). Upper central incisors were the most affected teeth.
Conclusion The prevalence of DT in a sample of Italian children and adolescents with special health care needs is high, especially in young individuals with cerebral palsy and autism. Preventive strategies for those patients should be developed in order to reduce the risk of DT.