What We Do

Dental officers in the Commissioned Corps have the flexibility and freedom to pursue a diverse and fulfilling career. Day-to-day responsibilities of dental officers may include:

  • Performing clinical dentistry
  • Educating individuals and communities about oral health
  • Improving oral, dental, and craniofacial health through treatment, research, surveillance, training, administration, and the dissemination of health information

In addition, dental officers may have the opportunity to assist in public health responses to man-made and natural disasters and participate in rural health missions helping some of the neediest populations in the Nation.

Dentists join the Commissioned Corps at various points in their careers. Some join as beginning clinicians while others are experienced dentists who also may have had training in public health, management, or research methodology.

The focus of dental officers is on bringing oral health care and educational programs to underserved and disadvantaged patients who need it most. While there is plenty of direct patient care, there also are opportunities to become involved in organized community disease prevention and treatment programs that can make an impact on overall community disease rates.

As a dental officer in the Commissioned Corps, you can work throughout the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in other Federal agencies and programs. Below is a list of potential Federal agencies and programs where dentists have the greatest likelihood of finding an assignment – the order is based on the number of dental officers presently assigned. See duty station map for more details.