Dental recall status and unscheduled dental attendances in British warships

Mil Med. 1996 May;161(5):268-72.


When deployed away from base, men and women aboard seagoing vessels have restricted access to dental care. Situations may arise in which untreated disease, acute infections, failing restorations, or trauma result in pain or discomfort. Military dental health care delivery systems seek to minimize episodes of dental pain through routine screening by recall and delivery of treatment. A 12-month survey of all unscheduled attendances aboard British warships was conducted to establish the frequency and nature of cases, particularly with respect to recall status. One thousand three hundred forty-one reports were received from 66 ships and shore-based clinics, equivalent to approximately 52 occurrences per 1,000 personnel per year. The nature of the causes was widely varied. Significant relationships were apparent for recall status (treatment required) and the reported causes of dental caries (odds ratio [OR] 4.16, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34-13.8), periapical abscess (OR 3.19, CI 1.06-10.03), and failed restorations (OR 4.22, CI 1.31-15.01). In terms of mean time elapsed since last dental visit, those cases in the Fit/Fleet Ready group went 154 days, whereas those in the Treatment Required dental recall group went a mean of only 95 days.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel* / statistics & numerical data
  • Naval Medicine
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom