University of Oulu

Patinen, P., Tanner, T., Huttunen, M., Muhonen, A., Räsänen, S., Moilanen, P., Päkkilä, J., Anttonen, V., & Kämppi, A. (2022). Caries experience and erosive tooth wear in finnish men conscripts 2021: A cross-sectional study. Dentistry Journal, 10(7), 122.

Caries experience and erosive tooth wear in finnish men conscripts 2021 : a cross-sectional study

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Author: Patinen, Pertti1; Tanner, Tarja1; Huttunen, Mika1,2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Aapistie 5, 90220 Oulu, Finland
2Finnish Defence Forces, Centre for Military Medicine, Tykkikentäntie 1, 11311 Riihimäki, Finland
3Research Unit of Mathematical Sciences, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran Katu 1, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 1, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-08


Background: In Finland, the development of oral health in young, 19- to 21-year-old males regarding restorative treatment need seems to have slowed down according to cross-sectional conscript studies between 1976 and 2011. At the individual level, the mean number of decayed teeth (DT > 0) has also steadily continued to decline. In Finland, military service is mandatory, and around 85% of males complete it. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the oral health status of young men at the beginning of the 2020s.

Methods: The data were collected in July 2021 in the eight biggest Finnish Defence force garrisons by ten calibrated dentists serving in the ranks. The inclusion criteria for this study were a year of birth between 2000 and 2002 and male gender (n = 508). Third molars were included. Restorative treatment need was evaluated using ICDAS scoring. The study was designed according to the STROBE guidelines.

Results: Mean DT value was 1.13 when third molars were included and 1.03 when they were excluded. Mean DMFT value was 3.23 and 2.98, respectively. The proportion of conscripts with DT > 0 was 36.4% and 34.8%, respectively. The prevalence of caries was concentrated among a small number of conscripts. Most (76.6%) had BEWE (basic erosive wear examination) of 0–2. Conscripts in the moderate and severe ETW (erosive tooth wear) groups (BEWE 3–13) comprised 23.5% of the cohort. None of the conscripts fell into the most severe group (BEWE 14–18).

Conclusions: The oral health of conscripts has improved over the last ten years, and restorative treatment need has decreased significantly. Compared to previous studies, restorative treatment need was concentrated on an even smaller proportion of conscripts.

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Series: Dentistry journal
ISSN: 2304-6767
ISSN-E: 2304-6767
ISSN-L: 2304-6767
Volume: 10
Issue: 7
Article number: 122
DOI: 10.3390/dj10070122
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Helsinki.
Dataset Reference: Restrictions apply to the availability of this data, which were obtained from the Finnish Defence Forces. Data are available from the corresponding author with the separate permission of the Finnish Defence Forces.
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (