86th Dental Squadron prevents, restores, develops, deploys

by Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Cintron
86th Dental Squadron

Here at the 86th Dental Squadron, our mission is to prevent, restore, develop and deploy. We consist of 134 personnel representing the largest dental clinic in U.S. Air Forces Europe. We service the local KMC and several geographically separated units. Needless to say we are very busy treating our active-duty service members, their family members and retirees on a space-available basis.

Our leadership advocates prevention via education. We provide several monthly and quarterly briefings to squadrons identified as having a higher incident of cavities and tobacco use. Some of you may have seen us at the Bundles for Babies briefs sponsored by the Airman and Family Readiness Center and the Air Force Aid Society. If you have children here at Ramstein, they may have come home talking about the dentist who visited them at school. We believe knowledge is a powerful preventive tool. Despite our busy workload, we make time to reach out to the local community.

We have hosted several events over the past year to include “Little Teeth Big Smiles” and a recent Retiree Appreciation Day. At these events, we provide evaluations, cleanings and, when possible, simple fillings to repair broken and decayed teeth. At our children’s event, we treated 96 patients and saved families $25,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. During our retiree day in June, we were able to see 85 retirees and give back to service members that paved the way for us.

Our unit believes strongly in developing our Airmen. We have had several Airmen meet some impressive milestones in the past year. One squadron member was selected as the USAFE Airman of the Year; another earned status as a Certified Dental Technician with a specialty in ceramics, a certification that currently only two Airmen hold across the whole Air Force; and two members received highly competitive scholarships to attend dental hygiene school.

Lastly, our main mission is readiness and ensuring the wing is ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. We provide an average of 800 dental exams and cleanings per month. We send dental teams to geographically separated units such as Morón Air Base, Spain, to provide dental care for personnel stationed there.

At the 86th Dental Squadron, we take our mission of prevention, restoration, development and readiness seriously. We are proud to service the KMC and our geographically separated units and bring the bite to the fight!