Oral health disparities between ranks in a military environment: Israel Defense Force as a model

Mil Med. 2003 Apr;168(4):326-9.


Some studies have demonstrated a relationship between occupational status and position in the workplace to use of dental services and oral health status. Ranks symbolize social status in the military hierarchy, which is different from that accepted in civilian workplace.

Objective: This study was aimed at analyzing differences between officers and noncommissioned personnel in regard to dental treatment needs and use of dental services.

Methods: One-thousand, one-hundred thirty-nine personnel of the Israel Defense Force were examined, using DMFT (decayed, missing, filled permanent teeth and CPITN (community periodontal index of treatment needs indices to define oral health status. A questionnaire was used to calculate utilization rates.

Results: Noncommissioned personnel had on average 50% more unmet caries treatment needs, and 19.1% of them suffered from deep periodontal pockets. No differences were demonstrated in utilization rates

Conclusions: Military rank influences oral treatment needs the way civilian organizational structure does with the exception of utilization rates of dental services.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Military Dentistry*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Oral Health*