Fort Irwin DENTAC reaches dental exam milestone

By CourtesyOctober 14, 2020

FORT IRWIN, Calif. – The Fort Irwin Dental Clinic held a dental rodeo September 14-25, here.

During the event, DENTAC providers examined more than 200 service members, leading to a 97% green status on dental for the installation.

Green means that a servicemember has had the necessary dental screenings and is ready to deploy.

The push came on the heels of the hospital’s transition to MHS GENESIS, the Department of Defense’s new electronic health record, which occurred September 26.

As the hospital staff continues to adjust to the new system, most appointments changed from 20-30-minute appointments to one-hour appointments, limiting the number of patients seen in a day.

To stay on track for dental exams, Staff Sgt. Fisamuel Reggans, the senior dental noncommissioned officer for the dental clinic and Eudora, Ark., native, reached out to the brigade-level command sergeants major on post for support in getting as many service members through the dental rodeo as possible.

Dental clinic staff examined service members on a walk-in basis the first week and scheduled the units on post for different days the second week.

To accommodate an entire installation, the dental clinic extended its hours and even the dental clinic commander, Col. Elliott Bermudez, performed exams.

“I decided to lead from the front to help my providers and show them I can be there,” said the San Juan, Puerto Rico, native. “If I could make time, everybody could make time because this was a priority for us.”

DENTAC staff also took many COVID precautions.

Those individuals performing exams wore N95 masks and face shields in addition to their regular surgical masks and eyewear. They also only used disposable instruments to lower the risk of cross contamination.

Dental clinic staff also implemented physical distancing protocol in the waiting room.