Health & Safety

December 6, 2013

Residents cut teeth on dental specialties

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Timothy Young
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

Raymond Estrella, 99th Dental Squadron dental assistant, observes as Senior Airman Kelly Balch, 99th DS dental assistant, adjusts the flow of a patients saline solution Dec. 2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The solution is used to keep patients hydrated during an operation.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Six dental officers begin their fifth month of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center Dec. 2.

The AEGD Residency is a 12-month training program focusing on comprehensive dentistry for general dental residents who are new to the Air Force. The program is generally reserved for new graduates of dental school; the residents must be fully licensed.

The residency teaches these new dentists a fresh set of skills and helps them sharpen those they previously acquired.

“While in dental school students get a little training doing root canals, gum surgery and oral surgery, but they don’t get extensive training in any of it,” said Maj. Nathan Krivitzky, the 99th Dental Squadron deputy director of AEGD Program. “They don’t always know how to connect the dots to all the various specialties of dentistry. Our program takes it to the next level; our residents learn beyond dental school.”

The Nellis Dental Clinic has eight specialists in all different aspects of dentistry. These specialists help teach more in-depth aspects of their specialty to the residents.

“I think we have really benefited from having all the specialists here,” said Capt. (Dr.) Scott Bryant, 99th DS AEGD resident. “There is always feedback from the specialist explaining what was done right and what was done wrong which helps us focus on the areas we need work in.”

Krivitzky said, if a patient walks into a dental clinic with a variety of dental needs, a general dentist, without the training this program provides, would most likely take care of the basic problems, but then would have to refer the patient out to specialists in order to fulfill the rest of a patient’s dental needs.

Capt. (Dr.) Andrew Benfield , 99th Dental Squadron Advanced Education in General Dentistry resident (left) and Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jody Harrison, 99th Dental Squadron chief of periodontics (right), perform a dental procedure on a patient Dec. 2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Cavities are one of the most common causes for someone to require dental work.

While in the program, residents will advance their knowledge and practice in specialties that include: endodontics, prosthodontics, periodontics, oral surgery and orthodontics. They are also trained in operating room procedures, IV-sedation techniques and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

“Our residents will be trained to formulate a treatment plan and then be able to execute that plan from start to finish without having to refer the patient out,” Krivitzky said. “In essence, [they] become a jack of all trades.”

Along with learning the dental specialties, the residents are trained to adapt to an ever-changing career field.

According to Capt. (Dr.) Cody Christensen, 99th DS AEGD resident, dentistry is always changing. What residents learn today probably won’t be the same later. Five years from now, some of the information will be out dated. Materials, techniques and dental concepts are always in flux. This program helps the residents learn to keep up with these changes.

“It’s about providing your patients with the best possible care and using the newest research as it comes out,” Christensen said. “It’s about applying what you have learned as you go.”

By providing advanced training to residents the goal of the program is not just aimed at bettering the Air Force but benefiting the all-around dental career field, Krivitzky said. The Air Force gets highly trained dentists that can be assigned to a small base where they do not have any specialists and therefore provide that base with a wider variety of dental care with just one well trained dentist.

In addition, these residents can then bring the knowledge and skills learned during this program and share their experiences among other dentists at these smaller clinic locations. It should be noted that not all Air Force general dentists are selected for this residency program so the additional skill sets benefit their professional development as well.

“We are impacting the dental profession as a whole,” Krivitzky said.

One way the program can benefit the dental profession outside the Air Force is if the residents one day make a career for themselves in the private sector. The training they receive through this program will make them a better provider in those communities.

“It’s challenging, we are doing stuff we have never done before,” Bryant said. “In the end, I think we will be better for it.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr.

First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Charles Larkin Sr. Master Sgt. Phelipe Salinas speaks to his athletes during the 2014 Warrior Games at the Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 2. Salinas is the first sergean...
 
 

Safeguarding, re-evaluating your digital footprint

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Social media is a great resource for Airmen and their families to share information and stay connected to relatives at home and abroad. Although many depend on these wonderful tools, recent events have encouraged us to re-evaluate our digital footprint to ensure our personal and professional information is protected from online...
 
 

October is Energy Action Month: ‘I am Air Force Energy’

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Summer has come to a close, and we’re all looking forward to more tolerable temperatures in the coming weeks. Even better news — this means your power bill is likely to go down. But if you think you pay a lot for energy, imagine paying Nellis’ bill of approximately $1 million...
 

 

Taming ‘tyranny of urgent’

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Many Airmen lead incredibly busy lives, full of unfinished tasks that we often wish we had more hours in the day to fit it all in, and in our professional lives, budgets remain tight, the Air Force is shrinking, and we are challenged to do more with less. Yet...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Armory: A home for weapons

U.S. Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Jaime Romo, 99th Security Forces Squadron armorer, puts a M-240 rifle away after clearing the weapon at the 99th SFS armory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo

Nellis Open House brings history to life

U.S. Air Force photo The AT-6 Texan, which was originally flown in 1935 and flown here in the 1940s, will be one of many aircraft at the Nellis Air Force Base Open House on Nov. 8 and 9. It is a single-engine advanced trainer a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin