Welch CL, Thomson WM, Kennedy R. N. Zeal. Dent. J. 2010; 106(4): 137-42.
OBJECTIVE: To describe trends in sports-related dental injuries reported to ACC in the past 10 years.
DESIGN: Retrospective case series.
METHODS: De-identified data on orofacial injuries were obtained from ACC for the financial years 1999-2008, and new claims were identified for each year (with recurring claims omitted from the analysis). Patterns in new-claim data were identified by age, sex, region and the sport involved. Trends in claims for the sport categories were also identified
RESULTS: The annual number of claims ranged from 24,998 to 31,257; overall, 38.7% of claims were made by females and 61.3% by males, and these proportions remained largely unchanged during the observation period. For sports-related claims, those aged 11-20 years had the highest percentage of claims (with between 41.7% and 44.4%, depending on year) while those older than 60 had the smallest percentage of claims, with 0.5% to 1.1%. Sport was involved in 20.6% to 26.2% of new claims. The highest percentage of injuries was attributable to rugby (between 22.2% and 33.1%, depending on the year). Water sports contributed to between 14.2% and 20.8% of claims. Cycling increased from 1.5% in 1999 to 15.3% in 2006, and then decreased to 10.6% in 2008. Hockey, basketball, soccer, cricket and netball had 4.4%, 4.8%, 6.9%, 4.7% and 3.9% respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Although its share has decreased in recent years, rugby remained the greatest contributor to sport-related orofacial injuries, with water sports consistently second (cycling had the largest change, with a rapid increase in the past 3 years). There is a need to re-examine mouthguard (and other injury prevention) policies for particular sports.