Dental readiness vital to readiness

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jackie N. Williams
  • 23rd Medical Group dental clinic
 Dental readiness is an important issue which helps determine a squadron's mobility status.

The Air Force Dental Readiness Assurance Program tracks the readiness status of military members. As a key component of readiness, we use the dental readiness classification, a number that indicates the dental treatment needs of an individual.

Because many deployment sites do not have dental care available, it is important for all outstanding dental needs to be take care of as soon as possible to ensure Service members are worldwide qualified.

Readiness classifications are determined based on the treatment needs of the individual. There are four classes:

Class 1 is the ideal readiness classification which indicates all dental treatment is current.

Class 2 identifies personnel needing a dental appointment to treat a minor condition, and should attend that appointment as soon as possible. Patients in dental class 1 and 2 are considered to be worldwide qualified and may be deployed.

Class 3 identifies personnel with more serious problems which require immediate attention because these problems are likely to cause an emergency condition that may not be able to be treated on a deployment. An appointment should be scheduled immediately. The unit will be notified and dental treatment monitored as a result. The patient may have to be placed on profile if sufficient progress is not made.

Class 4 indicates that the member's condition is unknown and the member has not been seen within a year. The Service member will require an exam before becoming worldwide qualified.

Members in class 3 and 4 status are not considered worldwide deployable and they reflect adversely on their squadron's readiness status. The DOD goal is to have 95 percent of personnel in dental class 1 and class 2. The squadron commander is ultimately responsible for the readiness status of their personnel.

The squadron's unit health monitor keeps individuals notified when an examination is due, what class they are in, and keeps the commander and first sergeant informed of any problems. Each individual is responsible for keeping himself in the highest possible state of readiness.