DVIDS – News – Fort Johnson Dental Health Activity celebrates National Prosthodontics Awareness Week

FORT JOHNSON, La. — National Prosthodontics Awareness Week is April 21-27, 2024.

According to the American Society of Prosthodontists, an estimated 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. Even missing teeth can have a serious impact on a person's confidence, job prospects, and overall health. Thankfully, there are dental professionals uniquely qualified to help restore those smiles: Restorative Specialists.

Col. Ann Behrends, commander of dental activities at Fort Johnson, explained that prosthodontics is a specialty area that many people know little about.

“Prosthodontics is a field of dentistry that seeks to restore form and function to people who have lost teeth or facial structure,” she said. “We are dental experts at restoring beautiful, healthy smiles.”

Behrends said she hopes to raise awareness about prosthodontics this year to highlight the dental profession.

“Our goal this week is to educate patients about what prosthodontists can offer,” she said. “While many general dentists can do some of the same things we do, we have a deeper understanding of whether different treatments will work for a specific patient and are trained in more complex procedures.”

Major Maria Martinez is a prosthodontist at Cheser Dental Clinic.

“Dental restoration at the U.S. Army, JRTC and Fort Johnson is critical because we can help soldiers with orofacial trauma,” she said. “I often treat Soldiers who damage their front teeth during training, often resulting in the tooth being broken and requiring extraction. The emotional turmoil associated with this is often devastating to the Soldier. Having a nurse who understands what it takes to safely remove and replace missing teeth is A dentist with optimal processes and procedures is extremely valuable.

Martinez said spreading the word about the profession is important for a number of reasons.

“Most patients don't know what a prosthodontist does. Education will help them explore other dental professionals who can help them with their dental needs,” she said. “Furthermore, there are approximately 3,500 prosthodontists in the United States, compared with more than 200,000 general dentists. Most states have fewer than five prosthodontists, while others have none. At Fort Johnson, Soldiers are lucky that we can Provide restoration services.

Martinez said having a dental laboratory in Johnsonburg is also important.

“I'm grateful to be able to provide my patients with same-day crowns,” she said. “We have the technology to design and mill them in-house. This service is valuable and helps patients with their basic dental needs.

Martinez said if she had unlimited resources, she would do more.

“Damaged or missing teeth can have a huge negative impact on a person's overall health. Especially when these teeth are damaged while performing tasks or training,” she said. “I love knowing that I can help people regain their dignity by replacing missing teeth, improving their appearance and self-confidence by providing treatment options they are often unaware of.”

Behrends said prosthodontists play an important role in the rehabilitation of soldiers who have suffered trauma to their mouths, helping to improve their overall quality of life.

Shooting date: April 23, 2024
release date: April 23, 2024 15:32
Story number: 469276
Place: Fort Johnson, Louisiana, United States

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