A new source of dental trauma: e-scooters

02 May, 2024 / infocus
 Will Peakin  

Electric scooters have introduced an additional source of dental trauma, according to a new study.

E-scooters are regarded by the UK’s Department of Transport as a key component of its strategy to decarbonise transport and, in 2020, it initiated a series of trials across England to “to understand their environmental impact, safety, and mode shift potential to evaluate whether they should be legalised.”

The study, published in the British Dental Journal, aimed to examine dental injuries sustained during the two years following initiation of the trial.

The rise in e-scooter-related dental injuries underscores the need for government-instigated safety precautions.

Research was conducted at a UK, Level 1, supra-regional major trauma centre. All eligible patient records were analysed to identify e-scooter-related dental injuries to the following regions: teeth, periodontium, alveolus, palate, tongue, floor of mouth, frenum, buccal mucosa and lips.

Of the 32 patients who experienced a total of 71 dental injuries, 46.5% (n = 33) affected teeth, predominantly upper central incisors (n = 17). ‘Lacerations’ (n = 14) and ‘lip’ (n = 11) were the most common type and site of soft tissue injuries, respectively. Unprovoked falls by riders accounted for 53.1% (n = 17) of the injuries.

There was an overall increase in e-scooter-related dental injuries throughout the two-year period.

The authors concluded: “E-scooters are a new form of transport that can be the cause of hard tissue and soft tissue dental injuries.

“E-scooter-related dental injuries are often related to head injuries, non-dental injuries and intoxication. The rise in e-scooter-related dental injuries over the two-year period underscores the need for government-instigated e-scooter safety precautions.”

They added: “It is imperative health care professionals can also identify signs of head and non-dental injuries when managing such patients. Further studies are warranted allowing for better informed and optimised dental public health interventions.”

Tags: dental trauma / e-scooter

Categories: Magazine / News

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