Feel like royalty

  • Published
  • By Airman Daniel Brosam
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office
When it comes to health, the mouth is just as essential as any other part of the body. In fact, it may be one of the most important. According to mouthhealthy.org, an individual's mouth can show signs of nutritional deficiencies and general infections, as well as other significant health problems.

Airmen in the Air Force are required to have one dental examination and cleaning each year as a minimum, but depending on the condition of one's teeth, it could be more.

Senior Airman Cody Lemon, 341st Medical Operations Squadron dental assistant, is the right Airman to do that job.

Lemon said he is responsible for cleaning teeth and assisting the doctor in performing examinations to ensure every Airman is readily deployable.

"What I do on a daily basis consists of a wide range of work," said Lemon. "Assisting can be anywhere from oral surgeries or extracting teeth, to a simple evaluation for an annual examination."

Aside from his main job, Lemon is also the NCO in charge of infection control. He oversees the decontaminating, sanitizing and testing of the medical equipment used on patients each day.

According to Lemon, the tools are first placed into a high temperature auto cleaner. The machine releases heated, pressurized water and cleaners which rotate to decontaminate the tools. The tools are then put into a giant steamer which sanitizes to a near 273 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, a special measuring tool is used to ensure each kit has reached the proper temperature, pressure and time, and that the sanitizing process was performed correctly.

Lemon said he loves his job and he tries to be as gentle as possible with his patients and to take care of their personal needs.

"It's not just a job to me, it's me taking care of another human being," he said. "If you're in my chair, I'm going to treat you like royalty."

To Lemon, one of the most rewarding parts of the job is being able to take care of fellow Airmen and receiving positive comment cards.

Being a part of the Air Force and working in dental, Lemon said the Airmen and supervisors he works with play an important role in accomplishing the larger mission.

"Everybody here is doing a little part of a big picture," he said. "All of these duties play a big role and without one being taken care of, the mission can begin to crumble."