Dental traumas during the military service

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Abstract

Background:

Dental traumas are most frequent during the first three decades of life and more frequent among males than females. Approximately 80% (n = 28 000) of the male age cohort performs military service annually in Finland. As little is known of dental, head, and neck traumas during the military service, our aim was to study the etiology, number and occurrence of traumas of the Finnish conscripts during one calendar year. Our hypothesis was that above-mentioned traumas comprise a remarkable proportion of military accidents.

Materials and methods:

The data comprised of all the Finnish conscripts' trauma cases in the year 2009 (mean age 20.1 years, SD 1.1). The frequency, mechanism, and time of the incidences were analyzed.

Results:

Of the total 1432 trauma cases, 303 (23%) involved head, neck, or dentition. The occurrence rate of dental traumas was 6.5 cases/1000 persons/year. Dental traumas comprised 14.3% of all traumas. The most common mechanism for dental traumas was a blow-type force. First 4 months of the service and winter time were periods of increased risk of dental traumas. Two-thirds of the dental traumas, one-third of the body traumas and a quarter of the head and neck traumas occurred during military field exercises. Most dental traumas required a visit to a military dental clinic and also needed follow-up care.

Discussion and Conclusion:

Head, neck, and dental injuries are common during the military service in Finland. Prevention of dental traumas and need for first aid dental skills of the personnel should be emphasized.

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