DENTAC-Japan's 'Go First Class' dental program ahead of game
U.S. Army Dental Activity-Japan dentist, Capt. Adrienne Rembert, DDS performs preventive care on a patient, July 23 at the Camp Zama Dental Clinic at Camp Zama, Japan. (U.S. Army photo by Candateshia Pafford)

CAMP ZAMA, Japan (July 23, 2013) -- U.S. Army Dental Activity-Japan, headquartered here, is proving to be the Army's top command regarding the implementation of a new dental program, the unit's commander said during a recent interview.

The "Go First Class" program was developed by U.S. Army Dental Command in a quest to fulfill the surgeon general's mission to restore optimal health for active-duty service members, said Col. Gregory W. Silver.

"In the past, we have been more focused on [Soldiers] being fit for deployment," said Silver. "This is a program to restore [them] to more of an optimal dental health."

In the past, restoring a Soldier to his or her optimal level of dental health required several visits to the dental clinic, said Silver. After their first examination, Soldiers had to schedule additional appointments for cleanings, fillings and other required dental work.

"It [normally] would take a while for Soldiers to get their dental cleaning or get any simple work done," said Silver.

The Go First Class program is designed so that Soldiers can get their examination, cleaning and any simple work done all in the same appointment, said Silver.

"It cuts out multiple appointments and worked missed [as a result]," said Silver. "It's a win-win for both sides."

The Go First Class program officially kicked off July 1 for the entire Army, but DENTAC-J is already "ahead of the game" because the unit was already proficient at getting patients' examinations and cleanings completed during the same appointment, said Silver.

"All that we are doing is seeing if there is any simple work that needs to be done, and doing that [work] for the active-duty member in order to reconstitute them to optimal health," said Silver.

"The overall goal of the program is to shift from being deployment-ready to having the Soldiers be 'state-of-wellness' ready," he added.

Darren A. Wade, DENTAC-J's executive officer, said one of the goals of the Go First Class program is to have 50 percent of the Soldiers who receive care there to achieve optimal health at their first appointment by the end of fiscal 2013.

DENTCOM's goal is for dental units to achieve 66 percent wellness, but DENTAC-J has already reached 77 percent, said Wade.

"We [DENTAC-J] are the No. 1 in the Army [in that regard]," said Wade.

Page last updated Tue July 23rd, 2013 at 22:50