JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
The 59th Dental Training Squadron prosthodontics flight hosted approximately 20 dental specialists, including five visiting dental specialists for the U.S. Air Force’s Prosthodontics update course Oct. 16.
For the second consecutive year, the prosthodontics flight teaches attendees to become trainers at their own bases by accomplishing advanced hands-on and didactic training.
“The first course was featured in a newsletter disseminated across the entire Dental Corps, and had visibility at the highest levels of the Dental Corps,” said Dr. (Maj.) Ryan Sheridan, 59th Dental Group surgical prosthodontics director. “It was very successful last year and touted by the Dean of the Air Force Postgraduate Dental School, Col. Jay Graver, as the future of interservice and intraservice specialty update training.”
The computer aided design program is used to design and recreate a tooth that is missing or damaged. With the help of the program, prosthodontists are able to create a full set of teeth.
“The course itself spans seven days and encompasses comprehensive training for CAD and manufacture of dental restorations through subtractive and additive manufacturing,” Sheridan said. “This portion of the course [includes] single tooth restorations as well as complex full arch restorations using dental implants.”
In-depth training is also provided on virtual dental implant planning in accordance with the 59th MDW Material Trade Agreement which facilitates 3D printed surgical guides delivered to Air Force Dental Service facilities worldwide.
“We [place] a large focus on team-based care delivery,” Sheridan said. “Our dental lab technicians, chairside assistants and surgical colleagues are actively involved with the course so they can update their skills and support the overall prosthetic goals. This course really looks to train across multiple platforms to maximize the outcomes. It truly is inspiring to see the excitement in our young Airmen to get involved with new technology and watch them expand on the applications.”
Upon completion of the course, clinicians earn 57 continuing education hours and enhance their level of training for the AFDS.