Yokota's Dental: cleaning one mouth at a time
Stripes Japan | .
published: May 05, 2016
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Bright lights, sharp tools and drills can be a scary combination for people. There's no need to worry, this isn't the opening scene from a horror movie. These are actually a few things that members of the 374th Dental Squadron use to provide essential care for the oral hygiene of service members, Department of Defense employees, family members and all retired service members.
The squadron's mission is to ensure maximum wartime readiness of the 374th Airlift Wing by providing timely, high-quality and comprehensive dental care for the active-duty population and other eligible beneficiaries. They also deliver cost-effective, accessible dental care; promote healthy lifestyles through preventive dental services and education; and enable deployments of medical/dental resources for contingency operations worldwide.
"Dental readiness is important because we want to keep our service members wartime ready at a moment's notice," said Staff Sgt. Mohammad Farooq, 374 DS lab technician. "We take care of patient's oral hygiene needs to prevent complications."
To effectively care for the patients, the clinic has 18 dentists, 22 technicians and 24 civilians working within seven sections: pediatrics, endodontics, prosthodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, oral surgery and radiology.
The pediatrics section is dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through their teen years.
Endodontics dentists perform a variety of procedures including root canal therapy, treating cracked teeth and dental trauma.
The prosthodontics section focuses on dental prostheses. These dentists perform treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth.
In the orthodontics section, dentists diagnose, prevent and correct malpositioned teeth and jaws.
The oral surgery section focuses on impacted teeth, tooth loss, jaw related problems, facial injury repair and facial infections.
The radiology section is where x-rays are taken of patients teeth. This helps orthodontics to make a definitive prognosis for dental treatments such as cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals and facial reconstruction.
The clinic sees approximately 2,600 Airmen annually with the current wing deployable class 1 and 2 rate at 99.5 percent.
"Working in this squadron is very rewarding because we are able to provide oral care to service members and their family members," said Tech. Sgt. Glendon Conte, 374 DS lab NCO in charge. "The work we do directly affects our patient's body, so we make sure we provide the best care possible."
Members of the Dental Squadron are readily available to provide good oral health care and dental readiness for Yokota personnel. To make an appointment at the clinic, call 225-3671.