Types of dental emergency services provided to dentally fit soldiers in Area Military Health Unit Gauteng, South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    BACKGROUND : The prevention and treatment of dental diseas-es are important in maintaining a combat-ready military force. AIM : To determine the type of dental emergency treat-ments provided over 12 months to soldiers who had been classified as dentally fit. METHODS : A retrospective analysis was carried out of the dental records of members of the South African National Defence Force in Gauteng who had been screened and certified to be dentally fit in 2009. The records of the par-ticipants were followed up for a year thereafter to determine the profile of dental emergency treatments rendered. Data analysis included frequencies and correlations using chi-square tests. The level of significance was set at p<0.05. RESULTS : Of the 6352 soldiers deemed to be dentally fit, 1947 (30.7%) returned for treatment within 12 months. Most required dental restorations (59%) followed by ex-tractions (13%) and crown/bridge repairs (12%). In general, males, soldiers between 41 and 50 years, non-commis-sioned officers, Whites and Oral Health Fitness II (OHF) received more dental emergency services compared with their counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: A large number of soldiers previously deter-mined as dentally fit required restorations and extractions within a year. The treatment procedure profile was influ-enced by OHF classification, race, age and military rank.