This week I want to share with you a very rewarding adventure! Every couple of months I have the opportunity to travel with my dental assistant Allie to the Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center and Army National Guard installation in Fort Smith. For up to three days at a time, we work as part of a team that screens the troops to ensure that they are ready for deployment and free of anything orally that will prevent them from doing their jobs overseas. It’s a fast and furious environment as we often see 200 – 400 service members in one weekend!
After the screenings we then perform restorations, endodontics and oral surgery as is needed to keep them healthy. This past weekend our most memorable patient was named Michael. Michael was an incredibly large framed man that weighed probably close to 300 pounds. I met him in the screening process where we discovered he needed further work. When we told him of the next step to send him to the line for treatment, his face fell and he told us of his extreme fear of dental procedures. Here was this enormous strong man getting ready to go off and defend our country and he is literally shaking in his boots about being in a dental chair! Later in the day when Michael ended up in my chair for treatment I used every trick and technique I had to put him at ease and get him through this procedure. Before he even realized it, he had been administered three shots to numb the area and the procedure was complete. He couldn’t believe it!
It’s an incredibly rewarding yet humbling experience to be a part of this operation. In the coming months we will be traveling to Camp Robinson in Little Rock and a facility in Bentonville. I love variety in my life and in my work – and this delivery of dental care really fits the bill! It’s a great experience! Every time we wrap up and head home, I am filled with a sense of satisfaction that I was able to contribute to the health of our brave forces. And I have an overwhelming deep gratitude for their service.
Here’s wishing you a great week!