Marines, Sailors and dental staff gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of the Camp Johnson Interim Dental Clinic after more than a year-long closure on Camp Johnson, Jan. 30.
The clinic closed in September 2018, due to severe weather damage from Hurricane Florence, which made it unsuitable for patient care. A Mobile Dental Unit (MDU) was established to bridge the gap and facilitate routine dental procedures.
“The MDU was only able to support dental exams and x-rays. Patients had to travel to MCAS New River and other clinics around Camp Lejeune for care,” said Lt. Jennifer Kolin, a dental officer with 2nd Dental Bn. “With the opening of the Camp Johnson Interim Dental Clinic, permanent personnel and entry-level Marines attending the Marine Corps Combat Service Support School (MCCSSS) will no longer have to leave base for basic dental services. It allows Marines to spend their valuable time teaching, learning and preparing for the missions ahead.”
According to Petty Officer 2nd Class Caleb Gonzalez, a dental hygienist with 2nd Dental Battalion, Hurricane Florence devastated the clinic causing water and other irreversible damage to the facility forcing them to move into an MDU on Camp Johnson.
The clinic now offers patient administration services, family screening services, advanced scheduling for the MCCSSS students and comprehensive dental treatments to include operative, examination and oral prophylaxis. The Interim Dental Clinic will provide emergency treatment for sick call patients, such as root canal therapy and simple extractions. Emergency referrals will also be available for specialists at Camp Lejeune.
“It is our mission to support our warfighters by providing them the best possible dental care,” Kolin said. “Whether they are deployed, in garrison or in training.”
According to Kolin, the Interim Clinic is temporary. Camp Johnson is in the initial planning phase for a new, joint medical and dental Military Connect project. A pharmacy with an oral surgeon onsite, one to two days per week, will be available for surgical cases, such as third molar (wisdom teeth) extractions.
“We are very thankful for the support and patience of Camp Johnson staff, instructors, entry-level Marines and Sailors over the past 16 months,” Kolin said. “Opening this clinic is a product of many people’s efforts. The teamwork demonstrated across the board is the result of all parties working towards the common goal - enabling service members to focus on and accomplish their primary missions.”
The clinic is located at M407 B and M407C trailers at the end of Company A Street next to the fitness center and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. For information or to make an appointment, call (910) 450-0905.