drills on the move
FULLY operational dental surgery with drills, chairs, lights and
sterilisers is not the first thing you might expect to see when
walking into a tent.
hygienist SGT Jany Skeates does a scale and clean with assistance
from LACW Michaela Chant.
by FLTLT Christine Bradley
However, members of No. 23 (City of Brisbane) Squadron were greeted
by that when the No. 1 Air Transportable Health Squadron Field Deployable
Dental Unit deployed with them from RAAF Base Amberley to the Wide
Bay training area for Exercise Dauntless.
Keeping the force “biting fi t” was part of a normal day for the
dental staff, who treated dental casualties and brought the level
of individual readiness up with annual dental assessments.
The deployment was also the culmination of many months of preparation
and training by the dental staff at 1ATHS as it formed the fi nal
phase of test and evaluation for the Field Portable Dental Unit,
which is now ready for its operational role.
“This exercise highlights the importance of dentistry in maintaining
a fi ghting force and also the part that the 1ATHS fi eld dental
unit plays as part of the Air Force’s overall expeditionary health
capability,” Wing Commander Bryan Dubbeldam, Air Force Dental sponsor,
Taking dentistry into the fi eld was a rewarding and educational
experience for the team.
Dental assistant Leading Aircraftwoman Diane Beningfi eld said it
was great to have hands-on experience.
“We also learnt a lot about how to manage things, like keeping dust
out of the equipment and working around the limits of fi eld power
supplies,” LACW Beningfi eld said.
The dental team was one of the fi rst units to deploy using the
new Adec deployable dental equipment.
Co-developed with Defence, the new delivery system and suction units
not only provide the same standard of care as a normal dental surgery
but are more robust, resistant to dust, easily transportable and
provide a high level of commonality with the existing units within
Amberley’s Senior Dental Offi cer, FLTLT Christine Bradley, hoped
to build on the experience of Exercise Dauntless “and put together
a regular cycle of training and deployments so that we maintain
the deployable dental capability”.