Dental Readiness

Monday February 13, 2012

What is it?

Dental readiness is one of the components of Medical Readiness. Dental readiness supports three of the Army's four ARFORGEN imperatives, namely Sustain, Prepare, and Reset, because dental problems may impair a Soldiers' ability to function.

The Dental Readiness Information Center (DRIC) is a comprehensive information website designed to assist any Soldier - Active, Reserve, or National Guard - and their unit commanders in maintaining their own dental readiness.

What has the Army done?

The U.S. Army Dental Command (DENCOM) has created the DRIC website that contains up-to-date information on dental readiness requirements, available resources for examinations and treatment, and procedures to update a Soldier or unit's dental readiness status. Soldiers can access the website from anywhere via smartphone. The DRIC supports the U.S. Army Medical Command's Soldier Medical Readiness Campaign Plan.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

DENCOM will continue to maintain and improve the DRIC website to ensure that Soldiers and commanders have the most current information on resources to attain and maintain Soldier dental readiness.

Why is this important to the Army?

A sample survey of military personnel conducted in the Fall of 2010, found that 33 percent of Soldiers had experienced pain from dental problems in the last six months. Dental issues caused sleep loss and difficulty in eating for 25 percent of Soldiers, impaired duty performance for about 21 percent, and work loss for 18 percent. Deployed Soldiers with oral disease often require medical evacuation for treatment, endangering themselves and others. The likelihood of a Soldier having lost duty time, due to a dental emergency, increases as their oral disease worsens. Commanders can now use the DRIC to enhance Soldier readiness and combat effectiveness.

Resources:

Dental Readiness Information Center

U.S. Army Dental Care System

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