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The New Zealand Dental Services

Appendix II — DENTAL STANDARDS, 1939

page 406

Appendix II

Dental standards required are set out in four groups:


Armed Forces for home defence.


Large Expeditionary Force.


Small Expeditionary Force, for garrison duty abroad.


Temporary employment in New Zealand.


On mobilisation, candidates who are capable of being made dentally fit for general service and are willing to receive treatment, or are wearing satisfactory well-fitting artificial dentures to remedy a deficiency of natural teeth, will not be rejected for dental reasons.

The acceptance or rejection of a recruit will depend on the relative position of the sound or repairable teeth and his ability to masticate efficiently.

For convenience in determining masticatory efficiency, the teeth in the upper jaw which are in good functional opposition to the corresponding teeth in the lower jaw will be considered according to their functional value.


Each incisor, canine, premolar and underdeveloped 3rd molar will have the value of one point.


Each first and second molar and well developed 3rd molar will have the value of two points, e.g., if the whole of the 16 teeth are present in the upper jaw and in good functional opposition to corresponding teeth in the lower jaw, the total value will be 20 or 22 points according to whether the 3rd molars are well-developed or not.

The dental classification will be:

  • ‘F’ Dentally fit.

  • ‘T’ Dental treatment required.

  • ‘U’ Dentally unfit.

Dentally fit (‘F’) means:


Those who have normal dental occlusion, which may include soundly restored teeth or well-fitting dentures to remedy a deficiency of natural teeth, or requiring treatment which will not take more than three working hours to complete.

N.B. Prosthetic work will be confined to remaking, remodelling and repairing which must be completed within twelve hours from impression taking, the recruit's presence only being required for a portion of the three working hours.


Those who have a masticatory efficiency of not less than twelve points, e.g., they should have at least ten sound teeth in the upper jaw articulating with ten sound teeth in the lower jaw, of these teeth there must be two molars articulating on the right and left of each jaw, in order to masticate their food without the aid of artificial dentures.

N.B. Well-filled teeth will be considered as sound.

page 407

Dental treatment required (‘T’) means:


Those who are capable of being restored to normal dental occlusion or to twelve points of masticatory efficiency by conservative means and not by the provision of dentures.


Those falling below twelve points of masticatory efficiency who are capable of being restored to normal occlusion by the provision of dentures, or requiring immediate extractions and subsequent provision of dentures after normal alveolar absorption is completed, provided always that they do not fall below a minimum standard of nine points.

N.B. The distribution of the nine points must be left to the judgment of the dental examiner who will also take into consideration the physical condition of the recruit.



An earnest endeavour must be made to assess the approximate time required for the necessary treatment on a Working Hour basis, and the dental examiner will record the estimated time on the form in the line provided under ‘CLASSIFICATION’.


None of the recruits classified in classes ‘F’ and ‘T’ should normally require to be absent from military duty in camp for longer periods than those required for the actual treatment given.

Dentally unfit (‘U’) means:


Those presenting with advanced stages of pyorrhoea or other septic conditions necessitating total extractions with extensive alveolar absorption.


Those whose dental condition necessitates extractions which will cause them to fall below a nine point minimum standard of masticatory efficiency.


Those presenting with ulcerative stomatitis in any stage.

N.B. These men should be specially warned that they are suffering from an infectious disease and require immediate treatment by a dental surgeon.

NOTES: Those classified ‘U’ are thus defined as those who, to be made dentally fit, would require considerable time off from military duty, over and above that required for actual dental treatment. They are thus NOT ACCEPTABLE for Home Defence in the first instance.


Such a force may be:


Mobilised de novo.


Formed from a home defence force already mobilised and in training camps, etc.

Standard: Only those classified as ‘F’ on NZ War 360 will be accepted primarily. Where, however, extra recruits are required to make up the requisite numbers a proportion of those classified ‘T’, who may be rendered dentally fit ‘F’ within a reasonable period (the actual time to be decided) may be accepted.

N.B. In case (1) above, those classified ‘F’ who may require up to three working hours' treatment will be treated by civilian practitioners before they enter mobilisation camps. If any class ‘T’ are accepted later they will page 408 be similarly treated or they may be made dentally fit in camp dental hospitals if such exist.

In case (2) above the necessary dental treatment will be carried out in the already existing camp dental hospitals.


Only those recruits who are classified as ‘F’ or who can be made dentally fit within Three Working Hours will be accepted.

N.B. (1) Where fillings etc., are necessary, the operations should be capable of being completed within twenty-four hours of his acceptance by the Board if the exigencies of the service demand.

(2) Prosthetic work will be confined to repairs, relining or remodelling, and in each case, utility is to be the only consideration. The patient's presence may only be required for a portion of the three hours, but the laboratory work must be completed during the next twelve hours, with a possible limit of twenty-four hours.


The fourth group, the standard required for men to be temporarily employed in New Zealand, was covered by an amendment of 26 September 1939, which, under ‘Dental treatment required (‘T’)’ added the following:

(3) In considering nine points as a minimum of masticatory efficiency the physical condition of the recruit, his vocation in life, combined with the length of time the loss of efficiency has been existent, must not be overlooked. If a man can do a hard day's work, eat three meals a day and be physically fit with only six incisors, a molar on one side and a premolar on the other side, all occluding, he can carry on in a mobilisation camp until the deficiency is remedied in camp, if found necessary.