E-scooters: A new source of dental trauma

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E-scooters: A new source of dental trauma

A rise in e-scooter accidents and related dental injuries in the UK present a new challenge for healthcare providers, particularly in dental trauma management. (Image: Akaberka/Shutterstock)

Tue. 7 May 2024


BIRMINGHAM, UK: Since their introduction a few years ago, electric scooters have continued to gain popularity in urban mobility worldwide. Alongside this rise, a significant increase in associated traumatic injuries has been documented. A recent UK study has outlined a surge in dental injuries resulting from e-scooter accidents, emphasising the need for specialised treatment and preventive measures at dental practices.

In 2020, the UK authorities first published guidelines and initiated trials on e-scooter use to alleviate transport congestion and pollution across the country. Subsequently, this study reviewed patient records from major trauma centres in the UK to identify e-scooter-related dental injuries that occurred over the following two years. It revealed that facial trauma, including complex maxillofacial injuries, is increasingly common among e-scooter riders, often resulting from collisions with pedestrians or obstacles and from falls owing to improper scooter handling.

In February this year, another study by the same group of researchers from Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham looked at maxillofacial trauma caused by e-scooters. This study found that falls were the predominant cause of these injuries, accounting for 44.3% of cases, and that soft-tissue lacerations were the most common type of maxillofacial trauma, representing 38.0% of the injuries.

The study results suggest that e-scooters have introduced a new risk factor for dental trauma. The researchers concluded that it is crucial for healthcare providers to recognise signs of both head and non-dental injuries in affected patients. They added that continued research is necessary to improve and tailor dental public health interventions effectively.

The study, titled “E-scooter-related dental injuries: A two-year retrospective review”, was published online on 1 May in the British Dental Journal, ahead of inclusion in an issue.

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