MILITARY’S PROUD HISTORY OF PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY
An Interview with Mr. Walter J. Anderson Jr
Mr. Anderson is ZirTeeth’s patient over 13 years. Our long-term relationship has resulted in 15 crowns, 3 root canals and one dental implant. Retired Technical Sergeant Mr. Anderson spent over 22 years in the military split between the Air Force, National Guard, Army and Air Force with services stateside and overseas, including Vietnam Service and Germany during The Berlin Wall Fall. Technical Sergeant Anderson has earned over 20 medals and decorations* during his honorable service. Here, he gives us insight about military’s proud history of preventive dentistry and explains why his choice was ZirTeeth dental implant clinic, and more.
Jelena Ugrenovic: Mr. Walter, I knew that you were a long time with us, but 13 years sounds pretty fantastic to me! How did you decide to choose us and not some other implant clinic back in 2006?
"Service is incredible, I didn’t feel pain, nothing, and it was crucial for my decision to stay with you for so long. Besides that staff is amazing and I started to feel like part of one big family."
Mr. Walter Anderson: I had a really painful treatment experience with one other private dental practice before 2006. I decided to choose ZirTeeth because you were among rare practitioners who were providing procedural sedation in Las Vegas back then.
JU: What was the main reason to stay with us for such a long period?
WA: Service is incredible, I didn’t feel pain, nothing, and it was crucial for my decision to stay with you for so long. Besides that staff is amazing and I started to feel like part of one big family. You were taking care of my oral health very well and later, when I needed to make a decision where to do my dental implant procedure it was logical to choose ZirTeeth.
"Military had great influence on my oral hygiene and overall oral health."
JU: Are you satisfied with the quality of your ZirTeeth dental implant solution?
WA: Indeed, I am very happy. Feeling is natural. I can eat everything normally without fear that my tooth will chip or crack. Healing process was tough part, but I was following everything you recommended and it turned out well.
JU: How important is it to you to visit the dentist on a regular basis?
"The Air Force meet their needs for military dentists by recruiting both dental students and fully qualified dentists to serve statewide and overseas."
WA: Military had great influence on my oral hygiene and overall oral health. If you as a military personnel take good care of your teeth it would decrease the number of urgent dental interventions and absences from training and it would improve the security of the whole formation. In case there is a need to visit the dentist, I would do it immediately without delay.
JU: In your biography I noticed that you served overseas in many countries including Aviano Air Base in Italy where you retired as the Base Non-Commission Officer In Charge (NCOIC) of the Base Disaster Preparedness Program. How would you describe your experience with dental care in situations when you serve abroad?
"Even if there were some emergent situations, or if someone had unknown problem, our needs for dental care were adequately addressed."
WA: The Military Health System is responsible for assuring the overall oral health of all military personnel. The Air Force meet their needs for military dentists by recruiting both dental students and fully qualified dentists to serve statewide and overseas. A lot of dentists receive the scholarship through the Armed Forces’ Health Professions Scholarship Program (AFHPSP). Generally speaking, in military for everything you do it is important to have special education and/ or training otherwise it is very hard to get promoted.
JU: In other words, dental care was always available to you and your colleagues while being uniformed personnel.
"Military has very strong organization and I enjoyed that type of career spanning because I knew exactly what particular step to use to achieve a certain goal."
WA: Correct, even if there were some emergent situations, or if someone had unknown problem, our needs for dental care were adequately addressed.
JU: Did you like your career spanning in military, how hard was to make work- life balance?
WA: Military has very strong organization and I enjoyed that type of career spanning because I knew exactly what particular step to use to achieve a certain goal. I even met Ms. Anderson during my service in Italy. She was also serving as a military personnel.
JU: Amazing story! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is our honor and pleasure to take care of you.
WA: Pleasure was mine.
* Technical Sergeant Anderson has earned the following medals and decorations: Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award/with 2 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Good Conduct Medal/with 4 with oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal/with 1 bronze star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon/with 4oak leaf clusters, Overseas Long Tour Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Ribbon/with 4 oak leaf clusters, Air Force NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon/w 1oak leaf cluster, Air Force Small Arms Expert/with 2 Bronze Stars, Air Force Training Ribbon/with 1 oak leaf cluster, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross/with Device, (Awarded by Vietnam Government) Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Cold War Commemorative Ribbon, and Army Sharpshooter Badge.
By ZirTeeth’s Outreach Coordinator Jelena Ugrenovic