Physical Examination and Diagnosis
Although there is a sense of urgency when a child presents to the dental office or emergency department with a traumatic dental injury, it is essential that thorough documentation is made of the event, treatment, and follow-up. It is recommended that a trauma assessment form be used to provide consistency and to minimize the risk of missing vital information. Often, the injury may result in litigation at a later date, so having detailed documentation of the accident, the clinical findings, and the treatment recommendations is critical. Whenever possible, clinical photographs and radiographs should be made to aid in the documentation of the injury. Early in the assessment, the dentist must determine if the injuries are serious enough to warrant referral to the emergency department. This is done by completing a neurologic evaluation of each of the cranial nerves. For young children or children with developmental disabilities, the child’s reaction may be difficult to assess.
KeywordsDental trauma Pediatric Special needs Neurologic evaluation Informed consent Trauma guidelines
- 3.Andreasen FM, Andreasen JO, Tsukiboshi M, Cohenca N. Examination and diagnosis of dental injuries. In: Andreasen JO, Andreasen FM, Andersson L, editors. Textbook and color atlas of traumatic injuries to the teeth. 5th ed. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell; 2019. p. 295–326.Google Scholar
- 5.American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Assessment of acute traumatic injuries. In: Pediatric dentistry reference manual, Vol. 40, No. 6. 2018–2019. http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/R_AcuteTrauma.pdf. Accessed 18 May 2019.
- 7.Glasgow Coma Scale. Institute of Neurological Sciences NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. https://www.glasgowcomascale.org/downloads/GCS-Assessment-Aid-English.pdf?v=3. Accessed 18 May 2019.
- 9.Davis MJ. Orofacial trauma management. Patient assessment and documentation. N Y State Dent J. 1995;62:93–6.Google Scholar