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Dent Traumatol. 2009 Feb;25(1):100-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-9657.2008.00719.x.

Oral and facial trauma among paratroopers in the Israel Defense Forces.

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1
Zrifin Central Dental Clinic, and The Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Medical Corps, Israel Defense Forces, and Department of Oral Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Military fighters are one of the highest risk populations for dental and oro-facial trauma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and etiology of oro-facial injuries among active duty paratroopers in the Israeli Defense Forces.

METHODS:

Paratroopers from selected companies were interviewed using a structured questionnaire regarding oro-facial trauma during active service years. The study consisted of 311 male paratroopers, with a mean age of 21.1 years (+/- 1.7). Mean duration of military service until the study was conducted was 25.9 months (+/- 6.9).

RESULTS:

Oro-facial injuries during military service was found in 87 (28.0%) of the participants, with an incidence rate of 129.6 cases per 1000-fighter-years. Extra-oral lacerations (lip, chin, cheek/facial muscles) were the most common injury. Tooth injuries were reported by 48 of the participants, of whom 44 (50.6%) suffered from dental fractures and four (4.6%) from subluxation/luxation. Most oro-facial injuries occurred in an isolated training or operational field. Thirty-seven participants (42.5%) reported postevent disturbance and 10 (11.5%) reported loss of operative activities because of the event (mean 8.6 +/- 4.0 day loss).

CONCLUSIONS:

Military paratroopers are highly predisposed to oro-facial trauma. Besides the physical and mental associated damage, these injuries result in the interference of their continuous daily activity. Prevention, mouth-guard usage and treatment intervention are two important actions that should be adopted to reduce trauma and its interference.

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