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The New Zealand Dental Services

Staffing the New Zealand Dental Corps

Staffing the New Zealand Dental Corps

In staffing the Corps there were two important questions to answer:


How much treatment was needed to make the troops dentally fit and maintain them so?


How many dentists, mechanics and orderlies were required to do this?

The first question could not be answered with complete accuracy but the amount of treatment could be roughly assessed by analysing the results of the examination of the men who volunteered for the First Echelon and the results of examination and treatment in the 1914–18 War. From these figures it was possible to arrive at a fair average for a given number of men.

The answer to the second question then appeared to be one of mathematics, provided the source of supply did not dry up. It was known approximately how much work a dental officer could do in page 30 a given period, how many mechanics and orderlies he needed to assist him and how much equipment he would need. On paper the problem was simple; in practice not so simple. In the first few months of the war the DDS used the rules of mathematics to justify his requests for staff but, when it was decided that the Corps was to be built up in proportion to the armed forces, other factors had to be considered. There were different factors affecting dentists, mechanics and orderlies, so the three will be considered separately.