VILSECK, Germany – When it comes to ensuring the readiness and training of Soldiers, no one is more committed than Capt. (Dr.) Dustin Davis, a general dentist assigned to the Vilseck Army Dental Clinic.
In an effort to increase the clinic’s capability to improve Soldier readiness, Davis recently began training his enlisted dental assistants on the latest in digital dentistry technology.
The training Davis provided his Soldiers was on the use of computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing, commonly referred to as CAD/CAM technology.
“It is essentially digital dentistry,” said Davis. “With this technology, we are able to take digital impressions without the need to put goopy impression material in peoples’ mouths. It essentially allows us to digitally design and mill crowns and other dental restorations.”
According to dental experts, CAD/CAM technology speeds up the overall dental process.
“I can complete approximately two crowns in one day using CAD/CAM technology,” said Davis. “However, by having my dental assistants be more personally involved in the process, I am hoping that we can increase patient care to four crowns per day. Two in the morning and two in the afternoon.”
“As the Army and the dental profession continue to transition to a more technological workspace, it becomes more and more important that our Soldiers are trained to be proficient with the most up-to-date technology,” added Davis.
According to senior Army leaders, readiness is one of the Army’s top priorities.
“CAD/CAM technology is beneficial to both dental providers and Soldiers because it speeds up the process and allows Soldiers to receive their final restorations faster,” added Davis. “The quicker we can fix their teeth, the quicker the Soldiers can return to duty and perform their mission."
“With this technology, Soldiers don’t have to leave the clinic with a temporary crown that could potentially fall off and necessitate a return to sick call,” Davis said. “With CAD/CAM technology, I can complete a crown start to finish in a morning or afternoon.”
One of the dental Soldiers who received the recent training was Pfc. James Adams, a 68E dental assistant, assigned to the Vilseck Army Dental Clinic.
“Prior to this, I never had the opportunity to participate in this type training before, so it was very beneficial for me,” said Adams. “We learned how to set up, scan, and mill a CAD/CAM crown. As dental assistants, it is important for us to know since it impacts the overall flow and speed of an appointment. I plan on using what I learned to facilitate speedier appointments for my patients and also share what I learned with other dental assistants as well.”
“Capt. Davis is one of the most skilled dentists that I’ve had the pleasure to work with,” Adams added. “Not only is he focused on his patients, but he also makes time for his soldiers and civilian dental assistants. He openly and freely shares information and has gotten many compliments from previous patients due to his ability to clearly explain procedures, alleviate their concerns and the quality of his restorative work.”