HomeNewsArticle Display

5 MDOS Dental flight: A bite out of the fight

Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Casey, 5th Medical Operations Squadron dental laboratory NCO in charge, crafts a custom abutment implant part at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 18, 2018. There are a total of 40 staff in dental flight which consists of dental assistants, lab technicians and general dentists. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit)

Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit

Senior Airman Abigail Skaggs, 5th Medical Operations Squadron dental laboratory assistant, sands down a night guard at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 18, 2018. The dental clinic supports the active duty, guard and reserve members of Team Minot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit)

Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit

Senior Airman Haily Lawrence, 5th Medical Operations Squadron dental assistant, cleans teeth at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 18, 2018. Dental assistants are responsible for preparing dental tools and scheduling patients. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit)

Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Casey, 5th Medical Operations Squadron dental laboratory NCO in charge, crafts a custom abutment implant part at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 18, 2018. The dental lab fabricates dental applicants such as night guards, implants, crowns and veneers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit)

Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit

(From left) Capt. Andrew Thomasson, 5th Medical Operations Squadron general dentist, and Senior Airman Shaquille Bartley, 5th MDOS dental assistant, performs dental work on a patient at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 19, 2018. Dentists see Airmen annually for check-ups and cleaning. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit)

Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit

Patients sit in the dental waiting room at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, April 18, 2018. The 5th Medical Operations Squadron dental clinic is responsible for ensuring dental readiness for all members of the base. They offer a series of procedures such as fillings, crowns, root canals and extractions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon J. Audit)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --

The main mission of the 5th Medical Operations Squadron dental flight is to support a healthy population of war-fighters primed for contingency operations across the globe. Dental flight also consists of 40 personnel who provide Airmen with dental care.

The 5th MDOS dental flight performs routine check-ups, limited specialty care, oral surgeries, endodontics, prosthodontics and periodontics.

“We take care of the readiness mission and provide care for our warfighters so they are primed to deploy any time,” said Master Sgt. Rachel Knight, 5th Medical Operations Squadron flight chief.

Dental flight sees an average of 1,400 patients, performs about 4,000 clinical procedures and fabricates an estimated 900 dental prosthesis a month.

“We provide dental support to the 5,500 active duty beneficiaries of Team Minot,” said Knight. “As the dental flight chief I ensure the clinic has all it needs to support our patient population.”

Dental flight is comprised of three main sections: the dental laboratory, clinic and administration.

The dental lab fabricates dental applicants such as night guards, implants and crowns. The clinic side conduct exams, general dentistry, surgeries and fillings. The administrative section orders supplies, man the front desk, in and out-process Airmen and keep track of records.

One Airmen from the dental lab said that he loves creating dental applicants.

“I believe that when you can create a smile for someone with these dental applicants it makes that person feel good,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Casey, 5th MDOS NCO in charge of dental lab. “It makes me feel good that I made something to help someone show off their smile.”

Knight said that active duty Airmen are required to visit annually for check-ups and cleaning.

“Our active duty patients are required to be seen at the clinic,” said Knight. “We want it to be somewhere Airmen would want to go if a choice was given. We strive to provide trusted, safe and comfortable care for our beneficiaries.”

Knight stated that dental flight supports the active duty, guard and reserve members of Team Minot around the clock.

“Tooth pain can be very distracting for personnel as they carry out the mission,” said Knight. “We offer daily sick call appointments and an after-hours on call service to meet the emergent needs of our war-fighters.”

Knight said that dental care is essential for Airmen to have good hygiene and to be mission ready.

We do a lot of education during our dental appointments to stress the criticality of dental hygiene,” said Knight. “Most dental issues are preventative and could be staved off by proper oral hygiene and diet.”

Knight said the dental flight cares for their Airmen as well as they care for themselves and is there top priority.

“My favorite part about dental is our people,” said Knight. “Everyone here cares about not only our patients, but each other. We are mission focused, patient centered and blessed with many hard working individuals.”

Capt. Andrew Thomasson, 5th Medical Operations Squadron general dentist, is in charge of patient care and is one of nine general dentists in the squadron.

“If you can change somebody’s smile it definitely makes an impact on their lives,” said Thomasson. “Just to see them happy and having the teeth to show it."

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.