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Two active duty Sailors aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) made military medical history after U.S. Navy dentists successfully removed the Sailors’ failing teeth and implanted 3D-printed prosthetics for the first time while assigned to a carrier.
“This innovative operation not only vastly improved the quality of life for the Sailors, but it also proved that Navy medicine provides our service members with the highest available medical care anywhere at any time,” said Lt. Justin Odette, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
American aircraft carriers embark roughly six thousand active-duty Sailors, which include five dentists. A carrier will typically have one oral and maxillofacial surgeon, one prosthodontist or comprehensive dentist, and three general dentists.
In April 2022, these two patients underwent the “all-on-4” procedure at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, which resulted in greatly enhanced oral health, improved functional bite, and confidence in their smiles.
Both patients followed up with the oral surgeons and prosthodontists for two weeks to confirm continued healing and fine tuning adjustments to the dental prostheses. They returned to full duty after two weeks of healing without any post-operative complications.
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