Despite its many benefits, bicycling carries the risk of accidents. Although numerous studies have reported the effect of helmet use on traumatic brain injury, it remains unclear if, and to what extent, helmet use reduces the risk of facial injuries. This is particularly true in regard to injuries of the lower face. In addition, there is limited evidence of the effect of helmet use on dentoalveolar injuries. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the frequency and distribution of dentoalveolar injuries in bicycling accidents and to explore the influence of helmet use.
A total of 1543 bicyclists were included from the trauma registry of a Norwegian tertiary trauma center over a 12-year period. Data was collected prospectively, including patient characteristics, type of injury, and helmet use. The prevalence of dentoalveolar injuries was assessed in conjunction with helmet use and facial fractures.
Twenty-five of the patients had maxillofacial injuries, and 18% of those with facial fractures exhibited concomitant dentoalveolar injuries. The most common type of dentoalveolar injury was tooth fractures (39%). The most frequent location of facial fractures with combined dentoalveolar injuries was the maxilla, which had fractured in 32 patients. Women had a higher risk of sustaining dentoalveolar injuries compared to men (odds ratio 1.50, 95% confidence interval 1.02 – 2.22). There were 1257 patients (81%) who had reliable registration of helmet use; 54% of these wore a helmet, while 46% did not. Helmet users had an increased risk of dentoalveolar injuries compared to non-helmeted bicyclists (adjusted odds ratio 1.54, 95% confidence interval 1.02 – 2.31).
Dentoalveolar injuries are fairly common in trauma patients admitted to a trauma center following bicycling accidents. Bicycling helmets are associated with an increased risk of dentoalveolar injuries.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.