104th Fighter Wing dental technician shares experience

  • Published
  • By Airman Camille Lienau, 104th Public Affairs
  • 104th Fighter Wing

The 104th Fighter Wing is full of hardworking Airmen who get the job done. The 104th FW Medical Group has a history of success in preparing Barnestormers to be mission ready and fit to fight.

Master Sergeant Terrylee Lois Crowther is a Dental Assistant and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 104th Dental Group. As a guardsman, Crowther is in charge of member’s dental examinations, x-rays and paperwork.

“Everyone has to have an annual dental exam to make sure they are deployable,” said Crowther. “In the guard we can’t do these examination annually so we conduct them every five years and ask the members to turn in their paperwork. We also have to train to be proficient in our job tasks, so that if we get deployed, we can do our job.”

Working alongside dentists, Air Force dental assistants help provide patient care in every procedure. These specialists ensure that patients remain healthy and comfortable at all times. Working as a dental assistant provides applicable skills for civilian medical programs and relevant experiences that come along with being in the career field.

Crowther’s most memorable experiences have been on her deployments. She’s worked in emergency dental clinics in Honduras, Paraguay and Kenya.

“You are sent on these humanitarian trips to provide care for people who have no way of getting dental care,” said Crowther. “Every day we would travel two to three hours in the Humvees, and we would drive by people walking to this clinic we set up. We had to set up outside because they had no electricity there. Hundreds of people would be lined up; women, children and men. Everyone was so grateful. They would not have been able to get their teeth pulled any other way.”

Crowther has spent 40 years at Barnes and is nearing retirement with her final day on May 7th 2020.

“I’m going to miss the people and I’m going to miss being a part of Barnes and the Air National Guard,” said Crowther. “It’s going to be hard not putting the uniform on every day.”