Purpose: The aim of the present study was to report the radiographical prevalence of overhanging fillings in a group of Swiss Army recruits in 2006 and to relate the dimensions of the overhangs to clinical parameters. Materials and Methods: A total of 626 Swiss Army recruits were examined for their periodontal conditions, prevalence of caries, and stomatological and functional aspects of the masticatory system and halitosis. In particular, the present report deals with the presence or the absence of fillings, the presence or the absence of overhangs and their relation to clinical and radiographic parameters. Results: A total of 16,198 interdental sites were evaluated on bitewing radiographs. Of these sites, 15,516 (95.8%) were sound and 682 (4.2%) were filled. Amalgam restorations were found in 94.1% and resin composite fillings in 5.9% of the sites. Of these 682 sites, 96 (14.1%) yielded overhanging margins of various sizes. This low prevalence of fillings represents not only a substantial reduction when compared with a similar Swiss Army study (Lang et al, 1988), but also an improvement in the quality of dental care delivery to young Swiss males. Plaque Index and Gingival Index increased statistically significantly with the presence of fillings, when compared with healthy non-filled sites. Clinical parameters that were significantly associated with the presence of overhangs included clinical attachment loss. Moreover, between 1985 and 2006 the prevalence of fillings was significantly reduced from 20.0% to 4.2% of all surfaces. Furthermore, the marginal fit of the fillings improved from 33.0% with overhangs to 14.1%. Conclusions: A significant improvement was observed in the periodontal and dental conditions of young Swiss males that was shown to have taken place within the previous two decades. From 1985 to 2006, the prevalence of fillings was reduced fourfold and that of overhanging margins twofold, documenting an improvement in the quality of restorative dentistry.
Keywords: army recruits, oral health, overhanging margins, periodontal health, prevention, radiographs, survey