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Perspective.

Welcome to the latest edition of our AMEDD Journal. I'm convinced that you will find this issue to be unique, interesting, and professionally stimulating. This quarter's issue is devoted to the Army Dental Corps and we have selected a broad spectrum of articles to demonstrate the breadth and depth of this great Corps. MG Joseph Webb, the Dental Corps Chief and Deputy Surgeon General, starts us off with a history of the Dental Corps. You may be surprised to learn that it was formally established (by law) in 1911. He gives us a very interesting overview of the Corps with a description of its many areas of therapeutics, research, and graduate dental education programs. He also provides insightful comments on three new initiatives: the Oral Health Initiative, Digital Radiography, and the Expanded Function Dental Assistant programs.

COL Tim Jones follows with a great overview of Operational Dentistry in his article titled "Army Dental Service Support in a Theatre of Operations." Many of you will be surprised to realize that historically 20% to 25% of all Soldiers experience dental emergencies within a year while deployed. COL Jones concludes that military dentistry clearly must accompany the Warfighter and is an integral part in maintaining Soldier readiness.

LTC Chaffin reassures us of the top notch quality of dental care in the Army with his "Patient Satisfaction in U.S. Army Dental Treatment Facilities." He provides documentation of excellent care that is being provided from a patient's perspective and also identifies future areas of study. COL John Luciano, tells us of the history and status of "The Expanded Function Dental Assistant Training Program" and stresses the great return on investment and increased access to care that this program has delivered to the AMEDD.

"US Army Dental Command 'Puts More "Bite" Into Health Promotion'" provides us the why and how of putting Health Promotion Programs into dental practice. Pamila Richter explains the partnership between the Dental Command and the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine that has been very proactive in delivering state of the art health education to our beneficiaries. COL Mark Bodenheim in "Army Reserve Components Dental Readiness--A Historical Review Since the First Gulf War" gives us the unvarnished truth about the poor state of reserve dental readiness prior to the Global War on Terror and documents the recent improvements. He outlines some of the remaining challenges to getting dental readiness parity between the Active and Reserve Components.

In "Evolving Education Trends in Graduate Dental Education" COL Ann von Gonten describes GDE from entry programs all the way through the many dental fellowships. She gives great advice on the service obligations incurred for training and details the selection process. MAJ Jerry Carbone describes a new and potentially better method for detecting caries compared to the traditional bitewings in his article entitled "Investigation Into Use of Digital Fiberoptic Trans-Illumination (DIFOTI) in Caries Detection."

If you're looking for pictures as proof of the miracles our dentists are doing in reconstruction you'll enjoy LTC Minaxi Patel's "Prosthodontic Rehabilitation of a Patient with Amelogenesis Impecta: A Clinical Report." This is an easy read about a rare dental condition and the spectacular results achieved through aggressive reconstruction. CPT Matthew Thunberg gives us some good insights into Dentistry 101 with his "Provisional Restorations: An Overview of Techniques and Materials," describing three of the most common types of materials used and the techniques for using them.

If you're not familiar with the term "Distraction Osteogenesis" then you need to read "Implant Site Preparation with Distraction Osteogenesis" by LTC (Ret) Philip Pandolfi in which he describes a new technique to manage reconstruction of defects of the alveolar ridge. For those of you with (or contemplating having) posterior restorations you'll enjoy LTC Nicholas Coppola's "A Policy Perspective for Army Dentists Performing Posterior Restorations." Dr. Coppola gives us the pros and cons of different restoration material and notes the differences between civilian and military dental practice. A great read.

This is a fantastic edition and I want to take the opportunity to thank all of our great Army Dentists for what they do every day to help maintain the readiness of the fighting force. They are pillars of our AMEDD team and clearly set a high standard for the rest of the Corps to emulate.
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Author:Weightman, George W.
Publication:U.S. Army Medical Department Journal
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:714
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