Dental in Hospital Corps
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The origins of the Navy dental technicians

Towards the end of 2005, the Dental Technician, also listed as DT rating merged with the Hospital Corps. The dental technician ratings have always been a separated enlisted specialty until then.

This merger impacted almost 3,000 dental techs. Today, enlisted no longer wear the dental ratings but serve as a sub-specialty in all fields of dentistry including:

  • Dental laboratory technicians
  • Advanced dental assistants
  • Surgical technologists
  • Maxillofacial technicians
  • Biomedical equipment repair technicians
  • Dental hygienists

What is the origin of dental medicine in Navy medicine?

Sometime during the beginning of 1923, the first class of Hospital Corpsmen attended the US Dental School in Washington, DC. After World War II, dental technician schools were established at the US Naval Training Centers Great Lakes and San Diego, CA in 1948.

When was the first time a Hospital Corpsman dental technician serve in combat?

It was during the Korean War when dental Corpsmen had first served in combat. Dental Corpsmen were joined along with their general Hospital Corpsmen in treating patients.

The most notable recognition that dental got was in the front lines. They were together with the Marines.

One of the most recognized dental technicians was Dentalman Thomas A. Christensen who received a Navy Cross for treating casualties in 1950.