U.S. Air Force: Capt Alisha Simmons, Dentist

U.S. Air Force: Capt Alisha Simmons, Dentist

September 8, 2019 7 By Ronny Jaskolski


I absolutely feel like I’m a better
dentist in the Air Force than in the private sector because I’m able to treat my
patients to the best of my ability without having to worry about the
business aspect that comes along with being a civilian dentist. I’m Captain
Alisha Simmons, and I’m a general dentist and I’m from Charleston, South Carolina.
I chose dentistry as my specialty of choice because I know I wanted to have a
family life. My dad was always home. He was at every basketball game I went to,
every track meet I went to, so I knew I wanted that type of relationship my
future family. Unlike most dentists out here in the world,
I graduated dental school debt-free. The Air Force paid for my entire education.
From high school, I applied for the Air Force ROTC scholarship. They pay for my
undergrad degree, and after college I applied for the Health Professions
Scholarship Program which pays for medical professionals to get to their degree in whatever specialty they choose, and I chose dentistry. Most bases around the
world have a dentist, and so we’re able to go stateside, overseas, deployed
locations. Dentists are everywhere supporting the mission and getting
things done. Typical procedures are routine exams, fillings, root canals
extractions, crowns, braces — mostly anything and everything that’s done you
can do here. Technology is always changing in dentistry and in the Air
Force. We’re always up-to-date in the cutting edge technology that is coming
out. For example, we have same-day crown capabilities. If a patient needs a crown,
they’ll come in, we’ll do the drilling and then we’ll scan it in on the
computer and then we take it upstairs where it’s milled the same day. My
favorite part of working with my patients when I sit them up after their procedure
and I’ve given the smile that they’ve always dreamed of. Now they have the confidence
they were lacking, and the smile of their dreams.