BACKGROUND `` SOS teeth '' are defined as the first priority teeth for treatment, that have distinct cavitation reaching the pulp chamber or only root fragments are present .
OBJECTIVES To assess the prevalence and distribution of SOS teeth with regard to age and sex difference among young to middle-aged adults .
METHODS This is a cross-sectional records-based study of a nationally representative sample, consisting of young to middle-aged military personnel, who attended the military dental clinics of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for one year . SOS teeth definition corresponds to code number 6 of the``Caries Assessment Spectrum and Treatment (CAST )"as an instrument to assess dental caries . Data pertaining to age and sex were drawn from the central demographic database and that of SOS teeth were obtained from the Dental Patient Record (DPR).
RESULTS The study included 132,529 dental records . The prevalence of patients with SOS teeth was 9.18% (12,146/132,323). The number of teeth that were found to be SOS teeth was 18,300, i.e. , 1.5 SOS teeth per``diseased"patient (18,300/12,146). The mean number of SOS teeth per the whole study population was 0.14 ± 0.52 and the range was 0-20 . The mean number of SOS teeth per patient had a statistically significant negative correlation with age (< 0.001; Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.997; 95% confidence interval : 0.997-0.998) and with male sex compared to females (< 0.001; OR = 1.029 confidence interval : 1.023-1.036).
CONCLUSION Assessment of first priority SOS teeth may be part of the dentist's work-up . It provides dentists and health authorities with useful information regarding urgent dental care needs to plan dental services.