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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Pulpal sequelae after trauma to anterior teeth among adult Nigerian dental patients

Adeleke O Oginni1* and Comfort A Adekoya-Sofowora2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

2 Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

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BMC Oral Health 2007, 7:11  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-7-11

Published: 31 August 2007

Abstract

Background

Epidemiological studies show that about 11.6% to 33.0% of all boys and about 3.6% to 19.3% of all girls suffer dental trauma of varying severity before the age of 12 years. Moderate injuries to the periodontium such as concussion and subluxation are usually associated with relatively minor symptoms and hence may go unnoticed by the patient or the dentist, if consulted. Patients with these kinds of injuries present years after a traumatic accident most of the time with a single discoloured tooth. This study sets out to document the incidence of various posttraumatic sequelae of discoloured anterior teeth among adult Nigerian dental patients.

Methods

One hundred and sixty eight (168) traumatized discoloured anterior teeth in 165 patients were studied. Teeth with root canal treatment were excluded from the study. Partial obliteration was recorded when the pulp chamber or root canal was not discernible or reduced in size on radiographs, total obliteration was recorded when pulp chamber and root canal were not discernible. A retrospective diagnosis of concussion was made from patient's history of trauma to the tooth without abnormal loosening, while subluxation was made from patient's history of trauma to the tooth with abnormal loosening.

Results

Of the 168 traumatized discoloured anterior teeth, 47.6% and 31.6% had partial and total obliteration of the pulp canal spaces respectively, 20.8% had pulpal necrosis. Concussion and subluxation injuries resulted more in obliteration of the pulp canal space, while fracture of the teeth resulted in more pulpal necrosis (p < 0.001). Injuries sustained during the 1st and 2nd decade of life resulted more in obliteration of the pulp canal space, while injuries sustained in the 3rd decade resulted in more pulpal necrosis.

Conclusion

Calcific metamorphosis developed more in teeth with concussion and subluxation injuries. Pulpal necrosis occurred more often in traumatized teeth including fractures.