BAFB Dental Clinic reopens in a phased approach

921
Lt. Col. Rachel A. Webber, 2nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron periodontist, stands in a dental suite with her personal protective equipment at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., May 26, 2020. All dentists and dental technicians working on or around patients will be wearing fitted face masks, hair coverings and gowns as part of the dental clinics safety procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Aileen Lauer)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — The 2nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron is preparing to reopen on June 1, 2020 at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. after not being fully operational since mid-March due to COVID-19.

The George R. Kennebeck USAF Dental Clinic will be reopening in a phased approach and work on completing a backlog of 903 dental exams.

“First, we are going to be catching up on all the annual required dental readiness exams that have been postponed since March,” said Lt. Col. Rachel A. Webber, 2nd OMRS periodontist. “No routine dentistry (e.g., fillings, cleaning) until later unless it is causing the patient to be dentally non-deployable.”

Upon arrival at the clinic, patients should expect to call and notify the front desk personnel that they have arrived and then wait out in their cars. Patients will get a call to come to the front door.

Once at the door, patients are asked to have a face mask on. The dental technician will check the patient’s temperature and screen them using a COVID-19 questionnaire. Patients will then immediately be brought back to their treatment room. These procedures are in place to minimize the gathering of patients in the reception area.

Aside from having patient procedures in place, the dental staff has been preparing each suite for use. Rooms have been inspected, unnecessary items were removed, and water lines have been shocked and tested.

“It’s good to get back to a workflow and nice to start seeing everybody. It’s kind of a blessing in a way because I know people were running out of things to do,” said Airman 1st Class Bryson T. Raymer, 2nd OMRS dental technician. “I’m happy to be back.”

Although the clinic will have full day operational hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., it will be operating with a split staff. Half the dental staff will report in the morning and work in one section of the clinic, while the afternoon staff will work on the opposite side of the clinic. This schedule is to help keep everything isolated.

“I’m adjusting and getting back to everything,” said Senior Airman Amanda Yeske, 2nd OMRS front desk personnel. “I’m ready to get back into the swing of things.”

The dental clinic is open for exams but no routine dentistry will be scheduled at this time unless it is causing a patient to be dentally non-deployable. For scheduling or questions contact the clinic at 318-456-6718.