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Military Dentistry 4-1-1
According to Col. William J. Dunn, DDS, USAF, the military has a higher rate of Board Certified Specialists practicing than the civilian sector. From dental implants to full-mouth reconstruction, cosmetic veneers to gingival grafts, and apical surgery to Lefort Osteotomy, all dental procedures can be performed by an appropriate military specialist. Advanced procedures are usually treated by the specialist or by residents under the supervision of a specialty staff member.
“We also have two specialty fellowship programs (unique and different from Oral Surgery training) that are significant in the management of head and neck injuries: Hospital Dentistry and Oral Maxillofacial Prosthetics,” adds Jon M. Dossett, Col, USAF, DC. “We train dentists in the art and science of fabricating prosthetic replacements for common structures in the head and neck region, such as the eye, nose, or ear.”
Dunn acknowledges the American Dental Association's support for all of the military's research efforts, which has enabled each branch to treat its patients as well as they can, which otherwise would not be possible.
“The ADA has helped us every step of the way, lobbying for us for continued support and bonuses that allow us to retain as many military dentists as possible,” Dunn notes. “They're to be commended for what they have done, and nowhere is what they do more evident than with us in the military.”
The Army Dental Care System (ADCS) operates as a comprehensive, interconnected worldwide group practice that provides full-spectrum general and specialty dental care to eligible beneficiaries. On a typical day, ADCS providers perform more than 3,000 dental examinations, 2,500 cleanings, and place 2,800 amalgam and composite restorations, says Col. Shan K. Bagby, DC.
Additionally, board certified practitioners in the ADCS provide advanced care in every dental specialty. Together, they perform approximately 116 root canals, 76 periodontal surgeries, 569 simple and complicated extractions, and place more than 100 crowns each day, Bagby continues. In total, Army dentists see approximately 8,923 patients and perform 18,510 dental procedures every day.