Air Force Capt. Aaron Gause explains the anatomy of teeth and gums to Scouts from local Maryland and northern Virginia. Gause is a resident in the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program at Andrews Air Force Base. (Courtesy photo)
Story by Sharon Holland, Uniformed Services University
Boy Scouts from the Calvert County, Maryland, and northern Virginia areas are one merit badge richer thanks to a team of Air Force dentists from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
The dentists, primarily all residents in the Air Force Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program and certificate students in the Uniformed Services University Postgraduate Dental College, volunteered their time and expertise to help members of Chesapeake Beach Troop 429 and Alexandria Troop 1103 earn their STEM-based Dentistry badge.
Air Force Lt. Col. Nathan Krivitzky, AEGD program director, and Maj. Kevin Kunz, an AEGD staff member, organized the volunteers. Krivitzky is an assistant scoutmaster with Troop 429 and Kunz is associated with Troop 1103. The two dentists were joined by fellow AEGD staff member Maj Christopher Raimondi, nine dental residents from the AEGD program -- Capts. Lindsey Miller, Aaron Gause, Mario Endiakov, Adam Yu, Nshombia Stan, Matthew Bean, Michael Millett, Ashleigh Denny, and Jamila Taylor -- and 15 staff members of the 11th Dental Squadron for the four-hour workshop.
Under the guidance of the dentists, the group, who ranged in age from 11 to 17, learned about the etiology of oral disease, first aid for dental trauma, the instruments, materials and equipment used by a dentist, and cutting-edge computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing dental laboratory technology. The Scouts also learned about dental career options, particularly those available in the military.
"Helping out these local Boy Scouts is a win-win in so many ways. By engaging with our community, we satisfy our accreditation requirements of community service and involvement, but more importantly, we get to showcase the Air Force Dental Corps and our training program to the community. By highlighting the opportunities available in dentistry and in the Air Force, we may just plant the seed for a future Air Force dental officer," Krivitzky said.