60th Dental Squadron: Taking a bite out of COVID

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jonathon Carnell
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – With more than 270,000 beneficiaries in the network and active duty Airmen as the priority, the 60th Dental Squadron had to figure out a way to provide comprehensive dental services during COVID-19.

Prior to the pandemic, the DS performed roughly 140 appointments a day, but with minimal manning, support has shifted from all beneficiaries in the local area to only supporting active duty Airmen on base ensuring they are ready to deploy.

“Readiness is who we are and what we need to be as a force,” said Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Powell-Davis, 60th DS noncommissioned officer in charge of customer service. “Dental care is important to have the warfighter ready. We want to ensure any dental issues are solved before an Airman deploys.”

Now servicing a max capacity of 70 servicemembers a day, the squadron is also caring for patients in another way by providing COVID-19 relief.

“Before the vaccine was administered, everyone in the laboratory was sent to the COVID PODs and helped with the testing of people who were suspected or showed symptoms related to COVID-19,” said Tech. Sgt. Edward Todd, 60th DS laboratory noncommissioned officer in charge.

However, the decrease in appointments and manning are not impacting the care received from the DS.

“Though, we are pulled frequently to support operations throughout the group, it does not affect our operation speed or quality of work,” said Todd.

The DS is currently restricted to urgent care and annual readiness exams.

Eligible patients with dental emergencies to include acute severe pain, bleeding, significant swelling or trauma may call the dental clinic for a screening appointment during duty hours at (707) 423-7008.