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Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 148384, 13 pages
Research Article

Knowledge and Confidence of a Convenience Sample of Australasian Emergency Doctors in Managing Dental Emergencies: Results of a Survey

1Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC 3065, Australia
2Emergency Practice Innovation Centre, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC 3065, Australia
3Department of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia

Received 4 December 2014; Revised 28 January 2015; Accepted 29 January 2015

Academic Editor: Jeffrey R. Avner

Copyright © 2015 Hossein Samaei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. We aimed to determine Australasian Specialist Emergency Physicians’ and Emergency Physicians in Training (Trainees’) level of knowledge of common dental emergencies. We also explored confidence in managing dental emergencies; predictors of confidence and knowledge; and preferences for further dental education. Methods. A questionnaire was distributed electronically (September 2011) and directly (November 2011) to Fellows and Trainees of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. It explored demographics, confidence, knowledge of dental emergencies, and educational preferences. Results. Response rate was 13.6% (464/3405) and college members were proportionally represented by region. Fewer than half (186/446; 42%) had received dental training. Sixty-two percent (244/391, 95% CI 57.5–67.1) passed (>50%) a knowledge test. More than 60% incorrectly answered questions on dental fracture, periodontal abscess, tooth eruption dates, and ulcerative gingivitis. Forty percent (166/416) incorrectly answered a question about Ludwig’s Angina. Eighty-three percent (360/433) were confident in the pharmacological management of toothache but only 26% (112/434) confident in recognizing periodontal disease. Knowledge was correlated with confidence (). Interactive workshops were preferred by most (386/415, 93%). Conclusions. The knowledge and confidence of Australasian Emergency Physicians and Trainees in managing dental emergencies are varied, yet correlated. Interactive training sessions in dental emergencies are warranted.