Evaluation of field dental equipment in a deployment environment.

David G. Charlton, A. Dale Ehrlich, James C. Ragain, Mark B. Lyles, Howard W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Dental officers and technicians must have reliable, durable, well-performing field dental equipment to enable them to provide dental care to deployed troops in operational environments. Unfortunately, no organized program exists to test such equipment before its purchase and use in the field. This article presents the results of a project conducted by the Naval Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research and the Air Force Dental Evaluation and Consultation Service to evaluate commercially available field dental equipment through laboratory testing and clinical-user evaluations in theater. The purpose of this 2-year project was to identify the best-performing and most cost-effective field dental equipment for possible future procurement. Initial laboratory testing was performed at the Naval Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research, and the equipment was then shipped to Kuwait for in-theater environmental and clinical-user testing. A seven-member scientific team of military dental officers and technicians was deployed for 1 month to perform in-theater testing under regional environmental conditions and to coordinate clinical-user evaluations. The testing provided beneficial results by identifying equipment that performed properly and equipment that exhibited shortcomings serious enough to render it inadequate for operational use. It is recommended that the project serve as a model for future testing and evaluation of medical/dental equipment by all of the military services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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