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Dental injuries in young athletes, a five-year follow-up study
Pubblication date: 07/2018
Authors: E. Spinas*, L. Giannetti**, A. Mameli*, D. Re***
Institution: *Department of Surgical Sciences, Sports Dental Research Center, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
**Department of Surgical Sciences, Pedodontics Division, University of Modena-Reggio, Modena, Italy
***Department of Biomedical, Surgical, and Dental Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Publication: European Journal of Paediatic Dentistry
Title: Dental injuries in young athletes, a five-year follow-up study
Abstract: Aim The aim of this study is to produce a clinical therapy protocol for a group of 20 athletes between the ages of 8 and 14, who all suffered traumas affecting hard dental and periodontal tissues.
Material and methods This study involves a group of 20 athletes (10 male and 10 female) who had suffered dental traumas of varying severity. In order to collect the data, two classification systems were used: one for hard tissue traumas and another for periodontal lesions. The athletes were subdivided into lesion groups, treated depending on the type of lesions and then followed-up over a period of 5 years. A statistical analysis was carried out to study the association between type of lesions, types of sports and the number of teeth involved.
Results We found that recovery time ranged from 3 to 5 days for uncomplicated fractures and up to 14 days for luxations. Only four complications were registered during the follow-up period and these were most likely due to the severity of the trauma. Out of the 20 athletes, 16 had begun and maintained the habit of using mouth protection devices when practicing their sport. The statistical analysis focused on the possible association between the risk levels of a sport and the typical lesions and complications that usually occur. Due to their high frequency, the two types of lesions taken into account in our study were complicated fractures (FP) and luxated/fractured teeth (LF). The average number of teeth involved varied according to the sportís risk level (medium or high) with averages of 1.6 teeth involved for medium-risk sports and 2.0 teeth for high-risk sports.
Conclusions What emerged in particular was the regular progress in the recovery time needed for the injuries sustained, with few complications or delays in rehabilitation; we also noted that the numerous athletes who habitually used mouthguards while competing during the recovery period did not suffer any recurrences of injuries or further complications. Regarding the results of our statistical analysis, no association was found between the sportís risk, the types of lesions and the occurrence of complications. In addition, analysis of the average number of teeth involved showed that there is no statistical evidence to reject the hypothesis that the ratios remain the same in the two groups.