German Sailors Receive Dental Care Aboard Truman

Story Number: NNS100529-12Release Date: 5/29/2010 8:42:00 AM
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By Lt. Katharine Cerezo, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At sea (NNS) -- Two young Sailors from the German Frigate Hessen (F221) were transported via helicopter to the dental department aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) for emergency dental care May 26.

Hessen's senior dental officer, Cmdr. Jutta Gohr, contacted her American counterpart, Cmdr. Jorge Graziani, and informed him of a root canal re-infection and impacted wisdom teeth that required treatment. They agreed that the Sailors should be transported to Truman for specialty care.

Truman's dental department consists of five dental officers including an oral surgeon and 15 dental technicians. Within the seven treatment rooms, the dental team performs everything from preventive to reconstructive and emergency dental care.

Capt. Zachary Berry, the carrier strike group oral surgeon, performed the removal of the impacted teeth. Berry, who typically performs 2-4 surgeries a day, specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgeries, severe facial infections and facial trauma.

"The demanding work we do in the Navy and the importance of safe operations requires that everyone be focused," said Berry. "When pain gets to the extent that it disrupts your life and impacts your ability to focus, you cannot do your job safely or effectively."

According to Lt. Heinz Moeller, the German liaison officer embarked aboard Truman, the smooth evolution demonstrated the strike group's ability to respond rapidly and showcased the high level of integration throughout the carrier strike group.

"We are grateful that Truman was able to provide care for our Sailors," said Moeller.

Graziani, who performed the extraction on the non-restorable tooth, commented on the professionalism of all parties that came together to make the operations a success; the Hessen leadership, Helicopter Squadron 7 for transporting the Germans, Truman flight deck crew for getting the flight deck ready on short notice, the dental department, and the supply department for providing overnight rooms and meals.

"The coordination from everyone involved was very efficient," said Graziani. "It was a true team effort. We gave them the same level of care we would give our Sailors."

After the surgeries the Sailors were provided post-operative pain medication and antibiotics before returning to Hessen. According to Moeller they are recovering well and have no post-surgery complications.

The Truman carrier strike group includes commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, Truman, Carrier Air Wing 3, commander, Destroyer Squadron 26, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS Ross (DDG 71) and the German Frigate FGS Hessen (F221).

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