Air Force artistry promotes mission readiness

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Hada
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Unbeknownst to many, when Airmen need dental work, they turn to dentists who then look to the expertise of dental laboratory specialists, master craftsmen who use the latest tools and techniques to craft everything from dentures to crowns to meet the patient's dental needs.

These specialists are found in the 28th Medical Operations Squadron dental laboratory which is committed to ensuring Airmen are qualified for world-wide duty, as well as promoting dental health and good oral hygiene.

"I love my job," said Staff Sgt. Gina Rosales, 28th MDOS dental laboratory technician. "It's really fun to construct extremely detailed dental appliances for patients with precision and artistic skill."

The lab creates many different prostheses for patients, ranging from gold and porcelain crowns to personalized mouth guards for sports protection and night guards to prevent the effects of tooth-grinding.

"Every case is done to the best of our abilities," said Staff Sgt. Maygan Gipson, 28th MDOS dental laboratory technician. "When you put time and effort into making appliances for patients to improve their quality of life and make them feel more comfortable with their appearance it becomes a very rewarding experience."

With high amounts of attention to detail and time spent perfecting their fabrications, laboratory technicians have an overwhelming sense of pride knowing their hard work is helping others, Gipson said.

"It's a satisfying feeling when we get to see a patient who's happy with our work," Rosales said. "You can make a million crowns but each time is a unique experience because every patient's mouth is different."

In addition to the rewarding sense of pride technicians receive from their work, they also understand the vital role they play in helping execute the Air Force mission.
"Oral hygiene is important because we need to ensure that our Airmen are ready to deploy and dental issues can take Airmen out of the fight," Gipson said.