All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Janice G Jackson

Advisory Committee Members

Kyounga Cheon

Amjad Javed

Ping Zhang

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) School of Dentistry


Dental emergencies are one of the most common oral health complications and can exhibit a detrimental impact on a child’s physical and psychological development; additionally, it may impose economic challenges for the family. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the after-hours dental emergency visits in the past 15 years at the Children’s of Alabama (COA) Hospital Emergency Department. Methods: A retrospective chart review between January 2007 and December 2021 was conducted. Patients’ demographics, type of dental complaint, and management were evaluated for overall characteristics in the 15 years and trends in 5-year increments. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the emergency visits was also assessed. Results: A total of 2,998 patients were seen from 2007 to 2021 for dental-related complications, of which 2,391 (79.8%) were due to traumatic injuries. One thousand one hundred and six of the trauma cases (46.3%) were in patients younger than 5 years old. There were almost twice as many males (64.03%) with traumatic dental injuries compared to females. Gender has significant association within the three 5-year periods for traumatic injuries (P=.038); in the last 5-year period, male patients decreased while female patients increased. Significantly less trauma cases were seen during the COVID period (P=.044), and about 10% of dental trauma was sports-related prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which then decreased to 6.43% afterwards. For non-trauma cases, the majority were seen iv in 6-12 years old (51.07%), on primary teeth (70.2%), and related to caries and abscess (60.3%). About one third of trauma and non-trauma cases required emergency tooth extraction. Conclusions: After-hours dental emergencies are predominantly related to trauma in males and pre-school children. However, there is a trend of increasing female cases in the most recent five years. The COVID-19 pandemic had a great impact on the number of dental-related emergency visits.

Included in

Dentistry Commons



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