Master of Science in Dentistry
Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate the baseline knowledge and assess the benefit of educating teachers, coaches, and athletic trainers about the management of sports-related dental injuries.
Methods: Teachers, coaches, and athletic trainers working in youth sports activities across the city of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Region were recruited via email. Participants answered a pre-seminar survey to evaluate their baseline knowledge and determine whether they experienced dental trauma with their athletes previously. The survey also indicated whether they participated in a public or private sports facility. The participants watched a pre-recorded virtual seminar educating them on the basic management of traumatic dental injuries and how to guide affected athletes and their families to obtain optimal care. A post-seminar survey asked the same knowledge-based questions as the pre-seminar survey to analyze their improvement and whether education guided by pediatric dentistry would be beneficial for coaches and athletic trainers. Responses were summarized with descriptive statistics including counts and percentages and medians. The change in number of correct responses before and after the seminar was assessed with the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. SAS EG v.8.2 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC) was used for all analyses. Significance level was set at 0.05
Results: A total of 8 individuals submitted the survey. Three of the respondents identified as youth sports coaches, three identified as physical education teachers, and one as another resource teacher (art, music, etc). The majority worked in a public facility (n=5, 71%) while the others were in the private sector (n=2, 29%). Four of the respondents indicated they work in a suburban neighborhood setting (57%), 2 in inner city (29%), and 1 in rural (14%). Three respondents reported having witnessed a dental injury while teaching or coaching (43%) and most reported multiple instances. Only one respondent indicated that their athletes are required to wear a mouthguard (33%). Two of the three indicated their sports facility or team has the resources to obtain mouthguards (67%). All 8 respondents were asked if they believe they should advocate for the use of mouth guards to prevent traumatic dental injuries. One respondent did not agree with the statement that they would advocate for the use of mouthguards if their sport does not require them. When asked if they believe coaches and trainers should have better education on how to prevent and deal with dental injuries, all 8 respondents agreed.
Five of the seven participants who completed both the pre- and the post-seminar questions saw an increase in the number of correct responses. The change in the number of correct responses was not statistically significant (p=.3438).
This study demonstrated a high baseline knowledge of youth sports supervisors in regard to dental trauma and prevention, which was limited by nearly half of participants having treated a dental trauma prior to the study. Improved responses in the post-seminar survey lacked statistical significance and were limited by sample size. All participants believe that there should be improved training in their fields on sports-related dental injuries. Further studies are needed to assess the potential impact of improving knowledge of sports-related dental traumas with education interventions for participants.
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Available for download on Wednesday, May 10, 2023