Triage and Extraoral Exam

Management of dental trauma begins with a systematic approach to assessment of the patient as follows:

Triage Procedure Order

  1. Check airway (to look for missing or broken teeth), breathing, and circulation.
  2. Determine if other life-threatening injuries are present.
  3. Perform a neurologic exam.
  4. Assess the cervical spine.
  5. Check for skull, orbit, zygomatic, or mandibular fractures.
  6. Evaluate extraoral soft tissue injuries.
  7. Conduct intraoral examination.
  8. Determine if injury is to primary or permanent teeth.
  9. Assess availability of dental care.


Yeng T, O'Sullivan AJ, Shulruf B. Medical doctors' knowledge of dental trauma management: A review. Dental Traumatology. 2020; 36(2): 100-7.