New dental clinic opens at Ramstein Air Base exchange
Stars and Stripes October 2, 2023
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Americans in the largest U.S. military community overseas can now show off their pearly whites in conjunction with some shopping or a movie, courtesy of a Monday arrival at the Ramstein Air Base exchange.
Docs Dental opened its first overseas dental clinic and with it came the start of an opportunity for Defense Department personnel and their families to see a dentist without having to wait months for an appointment.
The clinic will offer a full complement of services, including checkups, cleanings, X-rays, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry and orthodontics.
Six dentists, two hygienists and three dental assistants are on board, and the staff is still growing, said Jacqueline Haley, the clinic’s office manager.
Appointments already are starting to fill up, and October is almost booked, Haley said Monday. Appointments can be made online, by email, by phone or in person.
General dentistry, pediatric dentistry and oral surgery are available now, and orthodontics will be coming toward the end of the year, she said.
Anyone in the Defense Department community, including military and civilian personnel and their family members, can be seen at the clinic. Service members, however, first must try to be seen by a military provider on base.
If the military cannot handle the appointment, the service member needs a letter from his or her commander to be seen at Docs Dental, Haley said.
The clinic will also provide care to active-duty personnel who have a dental emergency or need to be seen before deploying. Service members and their families will be billed directly through Tricare.
Civilians will pay the full cost of services upfront, but the office will help them file insurance paperwork for reimbursement and inform them of the cost in advance, Haley said. All major credit cards are accepted, and the office bills in dollars, Haley added.
At Ramstein, the clinic is also a concessionaire for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which provided the company with office space across from the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center movie theater.
“We are stoked,” said Krystal McLaurin, the service business manager for the Ramstein exchange. “We’re very excited because we know what this means for the community.”
The new clinic is among nearly two dozen offices that Docs Dental operates, all of which are on U.S. military bases. A second overseas dental practice is in the works for Wiesbaden, staffers at the Ramstein facility said Monday.
The provider’s parent company, Docs Health, is headquartered in Pipersville, Pa., and offers an assortment of health care services through clinics, mobile treatment centers and telemedicine, according to its website.
The projected capacity at the KMCC clinic is 30 to 60 patients a day when it is fully staffed by the end of the year, depending on the type of care.
That should reduce wait times, which can extend up to six months or more for even a checkup or cleaning, Air Force officials said.
The military dental clinics at Ramstein and nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center also have limited appointments and generally do not see civilians who are not military dependents.
Docs Dental has a contract with AAFES headquarters and pays a certain percentage of earnings to the company, like other concessionaires do, McLaurin said. All of AAFES’ earnings, in turn, are funneled back into the military community, according to its website.
Online appointments can be made here. The phone number for the Ramstein exchange dental clinic is +49 69-50955166. Open hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.