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Foreword

AMEDD Corps History > U.S. Army Dental Corps > United States Army Dental Service in World War II

The techniques of dentistry as practiced in the United States Army do not differ significantly from those in civilian life. The task and problems, however, involved in applying these techniques in providing dental care to some 8,000,000 men and women, under such trying conditions as existed in a global war, stand unique and unparalleled.

The Dental Corps expanded from its strength at the end of 1939 of approximately 250 dental officers to over 15,000 during the World War II period of hostilities. The Dental Service was constantly confronted with the perplexities concerned with personnel procurement, training, assignment, utilization, and administration. In addition, equipment, supplies, and ancillary dental facilities had to be obtained, distributed, and maintained throughout the world in support of American troops. Further, as the result of increased manpower requirements on the part of the Army, and the necessary concurrent lowering of dental standards for individuals entering the military service, the Dental Service was called upon and expected to accomplish a mission of Herculean magnitude-that of restoring and maintaining the dental health of the Army.

This record, so admirably presented by Colonel George F. Jeffcott, Dental Corps, relates how such dental care was provided. The lessons learned and experiences gained by those concerned primarily with that care should be studied by all who are now, or may be in the future, confronted with similar responsibilities.

Finally, this portion of the History of the Medical Department is a tribute to the dental profession and to the men and women who faithfully, with outstanding success, served with the Army Dental Service during World War II.

GEORGE E. ARMSTRONG
Major General, United States Army
The Surgeon General