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The Army dental office in Garmisch, Germany, will close Sept. 28, after which troops and family members there will have to get dental services on the German economy.

The Garmisch area has about 105 active-duty military and 185 family members. Family members were served on a space-available basis at the Army dental office located on Artillery Kaserne.

Army guidelines recommend staffing of one dentist per 1,250 soldiers, according to the Europe Regional Dental Command. The one dentist assigned to Garmisch, Dr. (Maj.) Karl Richards, is deploying to Iraq and is not being replaced.

“We concluded that we do not have enough dental workload to justify continued support to the very small active-duty population in Garmisch,” said Col. John Etzenbach, commander of U.S. Army Dental Activity, Bavaria.

Troops in the Garmisch area who are enrolled in Tricare insurance can use dentists who are members of the SOS International network of health-care providers.

When contacted by Stars and Stripes, International SOS provided the name of a dentist in Garmisch who honors Tricare. Family members of troops also can be treated by International SOS dentists if they have the proper coverage.

Dental care that costs up to $500 is automatically approved, while treatments that cost more than $500 are reviewed by Tricare before payment is approved, said Dr. George Schad, Tricare’s dental representative in Europe.

Troops in Garmisch who are not enrolled in Tricare Standard or Tricare Prime are recommended to do so before the dentist office closes, Schad said.

Family members are recommended to keep their Tricare Dental Program Dental Insurance managed by United Concordia Companies Inc. while stationed in Europe, because family member dental care in Europe is on a space available basis, a dental command press release said.

Garmisch does not have a medical clinic. Patients there receive medical treatment on the German economy.

International SOS’s toll-free telephone number from Germany is 0800-181-8505. The Web site is www.internationalsos.com.


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