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Dental squadron makes Travis smile, trains Airmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports
  • 60th Dental Squadron
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.

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