Education on and prevention of dental trauma: it's time to act!
ABSTRACT Dental trauma is, unfortunately, not uncommon and may be even more prevalent in high-risk populations. It should be emphasized and acknowledged that many cases of dental trauma are preventable. Appropriate management includes primary prevention, i.e. avoidance of pathology development, and secondary prevention, i.e. early diagnosing and treatment of the pathology before significant morbidity occurs. The aim of this article is to provide a review of the current dental trauma literature with regard to education and knowledge and with relevance to primary and secondary prevention. As the duty of providing the public with measures for the maintenance of proper oral health is of the dental profession, the responsibility of providing primary and secondary prevention of dental trauma is of dentists, dental hygienists, and dental nurses. They may, and should, educate other medical, paramedical, and non-medical professionals, taking into account that those non-dental professionals could not maintain a high level of knowledge and service regarding dental trauma without a continuous backing by the dental professionals. It should be remembered that as the prevalence of dental decay has reduced in the Western world during recent decades, dental trauma plays a significant part in causing dental morbidity and mortality (tooth loss). It seems that now is the time to act for the benefit of our community and move from 'treating' toward 'managing' risk factors and prevention.