COVID-19 operations interrupt dental services

Many changes have occurred at Wright-Patterson Medical Center in recent months, including the way care is delivered. You may have seen your favorite dental assistant or dentist screening patients as they entered the medical center or spotted them helping our teammates over at the Kittyhawk Pharmacy.

In keeping with its motto, “Have no fear, dental is here!,” the 88th Dental Squadron has been re-assigning its staff to support Team Wright-Patterson’s COVID-19 response operations.

While the squadron supports the larger team, it still remains dedicated to supporting the readiness mission of the Air Force. To balance operations while protecting patients and staff, the squadron has temporarily changed the way it operates and the type of appointments offered.

Appointments for elective, most routine, and non-emergency dental care will not be scheduled until further notice. They include appointments for cleanings, restorations, bleaching trays, sports guards and initiating orthodontic care. These type of appointments are considered routine and are not readiness-dependent.

Active-duty members are still world-wide qualified and capable of deploying without these routine-type treatments.

The following readiness dependent care is available at the WPMC Dental Clinic:

· Annual dental exams and Dental Readiness Class 3 treatment for active-duty military personnel;

· Dental exams required for retirement, separation or overseas clearance;

· Emergent dental care for active-duty military personnel and eligible beneficiaries. Dental emergencies are those that involve uncontrolled pain, bleeding or swelling.

Non-active duty beneficiaries are encouraged to enroll in their respective dental insurance programs. Active-duty service members utilize the TRICARE Dental Program, and retired service members may enroll in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) during open season.

Please visit for additional information or call 844-653-4061 for questions about the TRICARE Dental Program and 877-888-3337 for questions about FEDVIP.

The 88th Dental Squadron wants to help you maintain your oral hygiene until staff are able to restore routine services. Here are some things you can do from home to keep your smile looking amazing:

· Brush and floss daily.

· Reduce intake of sugary snacks and drinks. Brush after consumption

The men and women of the 88th Dental Squadron appreciate your patience and understanding as they balance readiness requirements, pandemic response and work toward re-implementing routine dental care in a manner that is safe for patients and staff.

About the Author