Fort Riley Dental Activity History
The Fort Riley Dental Activity (DENTAC) traces its origins to 1917, the year the first Dental Officers were assigned to Fort Riley. Between the World Wars, one Dental Officer at a small dental clinic served a small post population. However, with the mobilization of World War II, dental clinics were established at Camps Forsyth, Funston, and Whitside to accommodate growing troop concentrations. Throughout the Vietnam era, a dental clinic was also maintained at Schilling Manor in Salina, Kansas, to care for waiting Families of Soldiers involved in that conflict. After that war, the Camp Funston and Schilling Manor clinics were closed.
In the sixties, DENTAC embarked on a building program designed to house dental facilities in permanent structures and reduce reliance on WWII era "temporary" facilities. Two modern dental clinics were constructed on Custer Hill and one in the newly completed Irwin Army Hospital. March 1981 marked the completion of Dental Clinic Number 5, a fourteen operatory clinic located on Huebner Road near the hospital. This brought the DENTAC to a total of seventy operatories located in permanent construction, with twenty-six remaining "temporary" facilities. Always anticipating and supporting the needs of the Fort Riley community, a satellite dental clinic was established in 1987 in the Personnel Processing Center (PPC) and another in support of the United States Army Correctional Activity. Construction of a state of the art twenty-eight operatory dental clinic; Dental Clinic 4, located on First Infantry Division Road, began construction in mid 1986, designed to replace the two remaining WWII clinics at Camps Forsyth and Whitside, which closed in October 1988.
The Fort Riley DENTAC has always prided itself for being in the forefront of dentistry. The early seventies saw its capabilities expand with the addition of the specialties of orthodontics, pedodontics, and endodontics, enabling the DENTAC to better support Fort Riley's Dental Activity as a separate major subordinate command of the United States Army Health Service Command. Also established was an accredited graduate dental course, the One-Year General Practice Residency Program, providing the Army with highly skilled General Dentists.
In 1997, due to military "right sizing" Dental Clinics 1,3,4 and PPC were operational and support Fort Riley's worldwide mission. The orthodontic, and pedodontic services, as well as the Residency Program have been disestablished. These changes have significantly upgraded the delivery of comprehensive professional oral health care to Fort Riley's active duty Soldiers.