The Comprehensive Dentistry community, which has been in existence since May 1974, consists of Dental Corps Officers who have completed a two year postdoctoral training program in general dentistry. They are designated by the subspecialty codes 1725 J (Certificate) and K (Board Certified). A 1725J has completed a two year residency and received a residency certificate. A 1725K has successfully challenged the American Board of General Dentistry Examination and become a diplomate of the ABGD.
We have from 12 to 18 officers in the two-year residency program at Bethesda. Navy dental officers also train in the residency programs with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army.
The Comprehensive Dentist is a highly trained general dentist with the knowledge and experience necessary to serve in smaller and remote clinics independent of direct specialty support. They are the primary care providers for a wide range of clinical services. There are four general characteristics and goals for the comprehensive dentist that fit very well with the concepts of Phased Dentistry, Multichair Dentistry and increased efficiency of our Navy clinics:
They command an extensive body of knowledge from the perspective of the various specialties, but not to the same extent as the specialist.
They have the ability to practice dentistry at an advanced, sub-specialist level in the full range of general dentistry with full understanding of advanced treatment options.
They have the ability to treatment plan, manage and coordinate the treatment of any patient that presents for care.
They have the ability to interact with dental specialists and physicians to achieve complex treatment plans through a combination of personal practice, consultations, and referrals.
They have the ability to mentor less experienced general dentists in the full range of general dentistry.
General dentists in the Navy must not only be skillful in their dental treatment, but also highly skilled in disease control, treatment planning, and patient management. Our Corps is working toward organization of our clinics to allow general dentists to deliver a full range of comprehensive dental care to the level of their skills, capability and credentialing. Primary care and "ownership" of each patient ensures a more efficient management of the patient through the system, coordinated care, and disease management. The Comprehensive Dentistry community is excited to play a large role in this vision for patient treatment.
Opportunities to Teach
Naval Postgraduate Dental School Comprehensive Dentistry Staff and AEGD Program Director:
Those Comprehensive Dental Officers interested in future teaching staff assignments at the Naval Postgraduate Dental School or as AEGD Program Directors are encouraged to communicate that desire to the Senior Detailer and the General Dentistry Specialty Leader as soon as possible. The five year plan is a fluid matrix that lists potential instructor assignments over a five year period.