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Dental squadron makes Travis smile, trains Airmen

Master Sgt. Rebecca Davis, 60th Dental Squadron support flight chief, files records May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, California. When you check in for a dental appointment, your records are maintained and filed among 7,500 other dental records safeguarded by the support flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Master Sgt. Rebecca Davis, 60th Dental Squadron support flight chief, files records May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, California. When you check in for a dental appointment, your records are maintained and filed among 7,500 other dental records safeguarded by the support flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Airman 1st Class Alexandria Stewart, right, with Staff Sgt. Froylan Becerra Alvarez, left, 60th Dental Squadron dental assistants, pose for a photo May 2 at the Arthur B. Sachsel Dental Clinic. Stewart positions herself in the panoramic x-ray machine, which will provide information about missing teeth, additional teeth, sinus issues and jaw joints, to make sure the patient is receiving the best care possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Airman 1st Class Alexandria Stewart, right, with Staff Sgt. Froylan Becerra Alvarez, left, 60th Dental Squadron dental assistants, pose for a photo May 2 at the Arthur B. Sachsel Dental Clinic. Stewart positions herself in the panoramic x-ray machine, which will provide information about missing teeth, additional teeth, sinus issues and jaw joints, to make sure the patient is receiving the best care possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Senior Airman Mackenzie Vitale, 60th DS dental lab technician, performs a surgical guide for implants May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, California. If molds or crowns are needed, dental lab technicians perform a variety of molding work for dental appliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Senior Airman Mackenzie Vitale, 60th DS dental lab technician, performs a surgical guide for implants May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, California. If molds or crowns are needed, dental lab technicians perform a variety of molding work for dental appliances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Airman 1st Class Jessica Strole, 60th DS dental lab technician, monitors a cerec cad/cam machine May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. Once it is determined that a crown is needed, a digital image of the tooth is used to tell the cerec cad/cam what dimensions are needed to make it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Airman 1st Class Jessica Strole, 60th DS dental lab technician, monitors a cerec cad/cam machine May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. Once it is determined that a crown is needed, a digital image of the tooth is used to tell the cerec cad/cam what dimensions are needed to make it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

The cerec cad/cam machine designs a crown May 2 at the Arthur B. Sachsel Dental Clinic. The crown will then be fitted to a mold to ensure a proper fit before being used on the patient’s tooth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

The cerec cad/cam machine designs a crown May 2 at the Arthur B. Sachsel Dental Clinic. The crown will then be fitted to a mold to ensure a proper fit before being used on the patient’s tooth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Airman 1st Class Jessica Strole, 60th DS dental lab technician, holds a molding showing a recently made crown May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The newly-made crown is fitted to a previously-made mold of the patients mouth to make sure it will fit.. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Airman 1st Class Jessica Strole, 60th DS dental lab technician, holds a molding showing a recently made crown May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The newly-made crown is fitted to a previously-made mold of the patients mouth to make sure it will fit.. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Capt. Eileen Welch, 60th DS advanced education in general dentistry resident, uses the inter oral digital scan for a cerec cad/cam crown May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, California. The patient is treated by using the crown that went through several steps in the dental clinic before it was placed on the patient's tooth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

Capt. Eileen Welch, 60th DS advanced education in general dentistry resident, uses the inter oral digital scan for a cerec cad/cam crown May 2 at Travis Air Force Base, California. The patient is treated by using the crown that went through several steps in the dental clinic before it was placed on the patient's tooth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Carter)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Arthur B. Sachsel Dental Clinic at Travis Air Force Base, California, has two missions. First, is the normal dental mission used to support any base and the other is an Air Force training mission. 

The 60th Dental Squadron directly supports the men and women assigned to Travis and the tenant units with dental needs, ensuring they maintain the highest state of dental readiness.

Additionally, it has two resident training programs a one-year advanced education in general dentistry and four-year oral and maxillofacial surgery residency programs.

Executing the mission

Travis Dental Clinic is the Largest Dental Clinic in AMC. Last fiscal year we supported three Wings while treating 7,900 patients and produced care worth $10 million.  We ranked No. 4 out of 75 dental treatment facilities in the Air Force in production. 

The David Grant USAF Medical Center program has long been recognized for its' excellence by the American Dental Association Commission for Dental Accreditation. Advance Education in General Dentistry accreditation visits occur every seven years. The recent site evaluation in 2005 had "no recommendations" and accommodations for the quality of the teaching staff and program documentation. Fewer than 15 percent of evaluated programs achieve this success.

This past summer marked the 48th dental residency graduating class from DGMC. The program began in 1964 with two residents and has since grown to six. Many of the graduates have assumed critical leadership roles in the Air Force Dental Corps in teaching and commander positions.

The 60th DS has one of six nationally certified Department of Defense dental laboratories. They have produced 645 dental appliances such as crowns, dentures and hard night guards, with a phenomenal insert rate of 99 percent.

The formalized Dental Laboratory Training program utilizes a cadre of civilian and active duty subject matter experts to train new lab technicians who can be utilized in small, one-man lab positions throughout the Air Force.

Improving the unit

In 2015, we completed two major renovations. First, an upgrade to 40 dental treatment rooms. This was a floor-to-ceiling remodel that was completed three months early.  There were no interruptions in patient care during the renovation. The space was reduced to 50 percent but we focused on mission readiness and maintained our 98 percent dental deployable rate. The Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic also completed a 100 percent clinic upgrade of eight treatment rooms and nine offices with no interruption in care.

Leading the people

The Dental Professional Staff are also leaders in their fields. The oral surgery teaching staff directed a five-day Walter Reed National Military Center mock oral exam course. This course was attended by 47 DOD surgeons with the intention of preparing for national board certification.

Some of the awards and accolades received by the 60th DS include 2015 Air Mobility Command's Surgeon General's Large Dental Clinic of the Year, Air Force Dental Educator of the Year, Air Force Dental Civilian of the Year, three Below-The-Zone winners, Airman Leadership School Commandant winner, ALS Distinguished Graduate, one of two Dental Anesthesia Assistant National Certification Examination certified technicians in the Air Force.

Managing resources

Care offered at the 60th DS includes general dentistry, periodontics, orthodontics, endodontics, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, hospital dentistry and temporal mandibular dysfunction specialist.

Because of the training mission of the Dental Clinic, several joint venture agreements with Veterans Affairs have been developed. This agreement ranges from not only patent treatment but sharing educational resources.  In the last year, we have had 47 providers receive 559 continuing education hours that saved the Air Force $28,000 in temporary deployment costs. 

Community Outreach

A five-person team assisted in the dental outreach project in Jamaica. In three-days they saw 431 patients and performed 498 dental procedures

A seven-person team volunteered at a two-day California Dental Association outreach event.  They treated more than 1,500 patients. Travis volunteers assisted in several different functions, including set up and checking in patients, at the event.