j. Oral Pathology. This branch of dentistry includes the clinical and
microscopic diagnosis of oral disease. Most Army oral pathologists serve a large
geographic area by performing microscopic diagnoses of tissue samples (biopsies).
ROLE OF THE DENTAL SPECIALIST
a. An Organized System that Augments Professional Skills. Gaining the
greatest benefit from the professional skills of the Army Dental Corps requires a
carefully organized system. The system provides technical and administrative support.
Dental specialists and other auxiliary personnel play a very important role in making this
possible. A dental officer working with an efficient assistant can provide better dental
care than when he works alone. A significant increase in capabilities is shown among
dental officers when working with two or more assistants.
b. Valuable Assistance to Dentists and to Patients. Dental specialists and
other auxiliary personnel are vital to the mission of the Army Dental Care System. A
dental specialist permits a dental officer to devote maximum time to the care of the
patients. This is done by relieving the dental officer of nonpatient care duties. The
dental specialist must strive to maintain a high level of efficiency. He must present an
atmosphere of professional competency to gain the respect and confidence of the
c. Variety of Potential Duty Assignments. A dental specialist may be
assigned various duties in the Army Dental Care System. The majority serve as chair-
side dental assistants. Those who have attended the Preventive Dentistry Specialty
Course (330-X2) are qualified to serve as preventive dentistry specialists (PDS)
performing oral prophylaxis. Those who have attended the Dental Laboratory Course
(N5) are qualified to serve as Dental Lab Techs. As the dental specialist advances in
rank and experience, he may be given administrative clinical duties to perform. The role
of the dental specialist in a field unit is basically the same as in a fixed treatment facility,
with the addition of certain operational and maintenance functions associated with the
movement of a unit.