U.S. military personnel receive dental care in combat support hospitals

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U.S. military personnel receive dental care in combat support hospitals

Spc. Steven Hart with the 143rd Medical Company performs a cleaning on a soldier’s teeth during Global Medic. (Photo by Spc. Francis Horton, 363rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
Spc. Francis Horton, USA

Spc. Francis Horton, USA

Tue. 28 July 2009


FORT MCCOY, WI, USA: Some people may not consider dental services when thinking of combat support hospitals. But here, the Global Medic training scenario has incorporated the 143rd Medical Company from Salt Lake City, UT, to train with a combat support hospital. 

Working inside the combat support hospital is a new experience for some of the members of the unit.

“This is different for us,” said Maj. Scott Cheever, a dentist with the 143rd. Last year, for annual training, the unit was in Honduras doing humanitarian dental procedures for the local population.

However, for Global Medic, the unit’s mission is to check up on soldiers’ dental health.

“We’re making sure soldiers are dentally sound,” said Spc. Steven T. Hart, a dental hygienist with the 143rd. Dental hygiene is important to the overall health of a Soldier, especially overseas in a combat zone.

“Normally in a combat zone, we would be able to do full procedures,” Hart said. Things like pulling teeth, filling cavities and performing oral surgery are often done in combat zones.

Working inside the CSH has its advantages, Hart said. Supplies are easy to obtain and there are plenty of patients to see.

Though the main mission is to deal with simulated dental emergencies, the unit members are filling in the time between with soldiers asking for x-rays and cleanings.

Even though the experience is a little different from their regular annual training exercises, soldiers of the 143rd said they were enjoying their time participating in Global Medic.

“It’s great to work with the patients,” Hart said.

(Edited by Fred Michmershuizen, DTA)

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