1st Dental Battalion supports Steel Knight on Camp Pendleton

1st Marine Logistics Group
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik

Date: 12.07.2012
Posted: 12.17.2012 12:44
News ID: 99414
1st Dental Battalion supports Steel Knight on Camp Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A toothache can be a horrible thing, and without proper oral care, a tooth can bring a lot of pain to a Marine in a combat environment.<br /> <br /> To help prevent an oral-related injury and provide emergency dental care, sailors with 1st Dental Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, set up a field dental clinic. The dental technicians and dentists provide care and send information about their work to the patient’s dental clinic so the results are properly filed.<br /> <br /> “We are providing anybody out here on the hit list with exams or cleanings,” said Seaman Apprentice Tyler D. Walkem, a dental technician with 1st Dental Battalion, 1st MLG. “Then we will send the forms back to their respective dental clinics.” <br /> <br /> The sailors, operating out of a tent, provide dental exams and cleanings daily to Marines and sailors participating in Exercise Steel Knight.<br /> <br /> “They brought us out here to get experience in the field,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kayla M. Seim, a dental technician with 1st Dental Battalion. “[Operating in the field] is a lot different. In a clinic, you have a sterile environment and it’s easier to disinfect. Here you have to plan for how many patients you are going to see and keep it as clean as possible.”<br /> <br /> For many of the dental technicians, working on teeth in a field environment is new, but they are up to the challenges.<br /> <br /> “I like being out in the field,” said Walkem, 19, a native of Covington, Tenn. “This is the first time I’ve seen dental out in the field, and everything is operational and seems to work pretty nice.”<br /> <br /> The sailors plan on more of these kind of exercises in the future, and are look forward to building on their capabilities in an austere environment.<br /> <br /> “It’s a good experience,” said Seim, 23, a native of Boscobel, Wisc. “I feel that every single sailor that is stationed with the Marines should experience a field operation.”