55th Dental Squadron gives kids free smiles

  • Published
  • By D.P. Heard

The 55th Dental Squadron held a free dental day for children at the Ehrling Bergquist Clinic March 8, 2024.

The dental clinic welcomed children of active-duty service members as part of a community outreach program.    

The event allowed the dental clinic to give back to the community and dental residents gained valuable experience working with young children.

“This is a beneficial event not only for the children in the community but also for ourselves here at the 55th Dental Clinic,” said Master Sgt. Kalen Sanchez, 55th Dental Squadron dental residency flight chief.

A variety of services were offered to children from 6 months to 13 years old. Some of the younger patients received their very first dental exam while others received x-rays, fluoride treatments and cleanings. All patients went home with free dental supplies.

It was a good turnout. Some laughed, some cried, and others just sat still for their treatment.

Capt. Hanna Hornsby, 55th Medical Group family medicine residency faculty physician, brought her son, Asher in for his first dental examination.

“I greatly appreciate the free dental day. I was having difficulty scheduling my son to be seen for his first dentist appointment in the community,” said Hornsby. “The dentists here provided great care for my son!”

It was an opportunity for dental residents to see pediatric patients since their primary duty is to see active-duty adult patients.

“It benefits the families, it benefits the active dentists, including our residents, and it’s just a win win situation and a really great event,” said Maj. Coleman Christensen, 55th Dental Squadron deputy director, advanced education general dentistry residency. 

Hygiene instructions were given along with parental guidance, and they promoted the Tricare program for those unfamiliar with it.