The effect of motor vehicle airbag deployment on tooth surfaces

Nor Atika Md Ashar, H. James, D. Higgins, J. Kaidonis, Anderson Rwg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Motor vehicle airbag technology is directed at the reduction of injury to drivers and passengers however a number of researchers have reported cases of injuries caused by airbags. Injuries to tooth surfaces, particularly tooth wear following the deployment of motor vehicle airbags, have never been studied. A review of the literature and clinical experience does not suggest tooth enamel abrasion to be a likely outcome following airbag deployment. This in vitro pilot study was conducted to assess the effect on tooth surfaces following the deployment of motor vehicle airbags, and in particular to attempt to reproduce the injuries claimed in a case report published in the Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology in December 2007. A sample of extracted upper anterior teeth (n = 20) were analyzed using unaided visual observation, photographic and microscopic observation pre- and post- airbag deployment. Teeth were mounted on a fabricated head form (similar to those used in crash test dummies) using dental putty. The tests were performed using a modified airbag test rig with airbags deployed in 5 different positions relative to the head, with respect to distance and angulations. The result of the tests showed no changes to the teeth with unaided observation, macro photography or under the microscope. Tooth wear patterns described in the case report were not observed. Although accurate reproduction of an in vivo situation is not possible, this study has given some insight into the effects of motor vehicle airbag deployment, and suggests that significant tooth wear is an unlikely outcome from airbag deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-55
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology
Volume27
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Air Bags
Motor Vehicles
Tooth
Tooth Wear
Tooth Abrasion
Wounds and Injuries
Tooth Injuries
Head
Observation
Oral Medicine
Photography
Dental Enamel
Reproduction
Research Personnel

Keywords

  • Airbag injury
  • Forensic odontology
  • Tooth wear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

The effect of motor vehicle airbag deployment on tooth surfaces. / Md Ashar, Nor Atika; James, H.; Higgins, D.; Kaidonis, J.; Rwg, Anderson.

In: Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2009, p. 50-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Md Ashar, NA, James, H, Higgins, D, Kaidonis, J & Rwg, A 2009, 'The effect of motor vehicle airbag deployment on tooth surfaces', Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 50-55.
Md Ashar, Nor Atika ; James, H. ; Higgins, D. ; Kaidonis, J. ; Rwg, Anderson. / The effect of motor vehicle airbag deployment on tooth surfaces. In: Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology. 2009 ; Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 50-55.
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