JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Military dentists gathered for the Puget Sound Dental Symposium at Madigan Army Medical Center on June 12 and 13. The two-day course offered continuing dental education topics presented by dental residents and special guest Dr. Joel H. Berg, DDS, Dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Col. John T. Marley, commander, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Dental Health Activity, welcomed dentists representing the Army, Navy and Canadian armed forces.

"Even though we all wear different uniforms, having a joint-service meeting shows we all can work together and learn together," Marley said.

Berg thanked the attendees for their service and recognized the admirable things they do in their career. He also outlined the major trends in dentistry, including leadership and the importance of medical management of oral disease.

"Leaders are good because they respond to change; they are the ones who recognize what is going on and respond accordingly," Berg said.

Leadership and medical management tied into Berg's lecture topic, Caries Management -- the formal term for dental cavities. He said it is will become common practice to manage this disease before decay begins. Traditional dentistry calls for fixing the cavity after it has formed.

"Most of what we do is treat the effects of caries not the cause," Berg said. But he explained many methods exist to detect dental caries early and treat them through integrated medical management.

Attendees could earn up to 15 continuing dental education hours for attending all lectures, including the presentations by eight residents from the Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12-Month Program (AEGD 12-MP) at JBLM. Part of their curriculum is to prepare and present one formal lecture on a topic relevant in today's dentistry.

The Puget Sound Dental Symposium is a professional dental education event coordinated and sponsored by the JBLM Dental Health Activity and open to all dental professionals within the Puget Sound Military Health System (MHS) and western Canada. This is the third event held in the past year in the Puget Sound MHS. In February, the Navy hosted a Dental Symposium at Naval Hospital Bremerton, for shared professional development, and in December, the Army hosted a Minimal Enteral Sedation Workshop.

About the JBLM Dental Health Activity
The JBLM Dental Health Activity is comprised of six dental clinics across JBLM and one dental clinic located at the Presidio of Monterey, Monterey, California. DENTAC is a diverse team of highly dedicated Army professionals--dentists, medics, civilians and contractors--all working together to provide the highest quality oral healthcare for our active-duty service members and other eligible beneficiaries across the Puget Sound MHS.

About the Dental Residency program at JBLM
The AEGD 12-MP at JBLM is a postgraduate dental education program sponsored by the United States Army Dental Health Activity and accredited by the American Dental Association. It provides supervised training and advanced clinical experiences in all major dental specialties dentistry to select dental officers recently graduated from school.

About Puget Sound MHS
Established in 2013, the Puget Sound MHS is an integrated medical market consisting of Army, Navy and Air Force medical treatment facilities that provide care to over 288,500 local TRICARE beneficiaries. Working together across service lines ensures Service Members, Retirees and Families receive timely access to high-quality health care. To facilitate this process, the Puget Sound MHS developed seven medical consortiums led and attended by representatives from Madigan Army Medical Center and Naval Hospitals Bremerton and Oak Harbor, to further improve productivity and reduce purchased care in civilian health care facilities.