YONGSAN GARRISON, SEOUL -- On January 9, 2017 the 618th Theater Dental Activity Command (DENTAC-K) conducted a renaming ceremony of Carius Dental Clinic to the new Yongsan Dental Wellness Center on U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan.
As the transformation and relocation takes place to support the growth at U.S. Army Garrison Camp Humphreys, dental services across the peninsula are being restructured.
Part of a realignment of clinical personnel from Dental Clinic #2 and Carius Dental Clinic, coupled with the conversion of Carius Dental Clinic to the Yongsan Dental Wellness Center, the new facility will improve overall dental readiness and wellness of soldiers throughout the Korean peninsula.
According to Col. Jae Hwang, 618th dental commander, "This conversion will significantly improve the dental wellness of our soldiers in Korea by setting standards and guidelines, providing efficient exams to all soldiers on the peninsula, so that they can continue the 'fight tonight' mission."
The new Dental Wellness Center will become a 'one-stop' in-processing point for all soldiers on peninsula for dental readiness. It will also become the only place to receive hygiene appointments and dental exams. The Dental Wellness Center can now provide more hygiene and exam appointments in an effort to streamline the appointment process and save Soldier's time.
Col. Wendy Harter, commander, 65th Medical Brigade said, "This conversion of the clinic is all about sustaining combat capability and the wellness of our 8th Army forces."
Highlighting the ribbon cutting ceremony was guest speaker Capt. Brandon Carius from the 1st Battalion 5th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Riley Kansas. Carius is the grandson of Maj. Marvin Wilbur Carius, who the clinic was originally named after. "I never fully appreciated the services of my grandfather as it was hard to envision a dentist in combat," remarked Carius.
Having previously served in Afghanistan as a medical provider, Carius gained an appreciation for all medical support positions within the Army.
"To me it is amazing that a tooth, such a small piece of enamel with blood vessels and nerves could be such a troubling aspect to any individual and bring them to their knees," said Carius. "I can attest that when you have a problem with your teeth, it is less important about what happened, as it is about fixing it immediately to get you back into the fight."
Although the 618th DENTAC-K is not able to provide routine general and specialty dental care for family members, the unit does provide hygiene and exam services for family members once a year on space available basis. Many appointments are available between 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. as the soldiers are conducting physical readiness training.
For those requiring orthodontics or pediatric dentistry, Yongsan Dental Clinic #3 will continue to provide those services.
Dental Clinic #2 will continue to provide routine dental care such as fillings, extractions, crown and bridges as well as sick calls. Sick call hours will be extended from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sick-call is on a "first-come-first-serve" basis.
Later this year, the name of Carius will live on, as the 618th DENTAC-K continues its transition and realignment of dental services in support of the "Fight Tonight" mission, with a new 79-dental chair clinic opening on Camp Humphreys.