Dental care is one of the health services provided to all military personnel.
It is available in military dental
clinics all over the world.
Dental specialists assist military dentists in examining and treating patients. They also
help manage dental offices.
What They Do
Dental specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Help dentists perform oral surgery
- Prepare for patient examinations by selecting and arranging instruments and medications
- Help dentists during examinations by preparing dental compounds and operating dental equipment
- Clean patients’ teeth using scaling and polishing instruments and equipment
- Operate dental X-ray equipment and process X-rays of patients’ teeth, gums, and jaws
- Provide guidance to patients on daily care of their teeth
- Perform administrative duties, such as scheduling office visits, keeping patient records, and ordering dental supplies
Helpful school subjects include biology and chemistry. Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to follow spoken instructions and detailed procedures
- Good eye-hand coordination
- Interest in working with people
Job training consists of classroom instruction, including practice in dental care tasks. Further training occurs on
the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
- Preventive dentistry
- Radiology (X-ray) techniques
- Dental office procedures
- Dental hygiene procedures
Dental specialists in the military usually work indoors in dental offices or clinics. Some specialists may be assigned
to duty aboard ships.
Civilian dental specialists work in dental offices or clinics.
Their work is similar to work in the military. They
typically specialize in assisting dentists to treat patients, provide clerical support (dental assistants), or clean
teeth (dental hygienists).