Otis servicemembers receive complimentary dental care
By Senior Airman Patrick McKenna, 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 14, 2012
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --
A four-person civilian dental team treated approximately 120 servicemembers at the 102nd Medical Group (MDG) building here Oct. 13-14.
The dental examinations, which were conducted by Logistics Health dental professionals and funded by the National Guard Bureau, have been conducted twice a year each of the past four years. The goal is to provide complimentary dental service to servicemembers in need of their annual exam.
Upon entering the exam room, the patients were greeted by the team's dental lead, Shelley Fleetwood, who checked their blood pressure and had them fill out the required paperwork. Following that, they proceeded to the dental x-ray portion, and their exam concluded with a dental exam from the team's dentist. From beginning to end, most of the patients were examined and sent back to their respective units in under 20 minutes.
With no full-time dentist on staff, the 102nd MDG Airmen emphasized the importance of the service and expressed satisfaction with the dental team's quality of care and professionalism.
"It's gone very well," said Master Sgt. Cynthia Thomas, 102nd MDG health systems technician. "We've had a good turnout. The dental team is really professional. They understand our standards and try and get to each member as quick as they can."
With heavy workloads and deployment possibilities always looming, it's crucial servicemembers are up to date with all their medical appointments, especially dental.
"If someone is overdue for dental, it's a showstopper," Thomas said. "They cannot deploy unless they're current and members a year overdue for a dental appointment can even be separated from the Air National Guard for non-compliance."
Thomas emphasized that this program is designed to keep members mission ready, and also to keep them on the path to good oral hygiene, because good oral health leads to good overall health as you get older.
One Airman who received the complimentary care stressed how grateful she was for the team's efforts.
"I think it's a great privilege for us to receive this service," said Staff Sgt. Doris Galli, 102nd Force Support Flight cook. "It was very easy and painless. They did an excellent job. I enjoyed it very much."