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House Appropriations Committee passes defense bill

March 14, 2017

Washington — The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense approved a $578 billion defense bill on March 8 for fiscal year 2017 that includes $6 million in funding for military dental research.

At the ADA’s request, prior to the vote, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, whose district includes the Battlefield Health and Trauma Fort Sam Houston – San Antonio Military Medical Center, sent a letter to the committee.

“Over 42 percent of injured service members have had wounds to the head and face. In the last decade alone, over 4,000 service members experienced facial injuries,” wrote Rep. Smith. “These injuries cause significant physical and emotional challenges for the service member, often resulting in difficulties breathing, eating and speaking. Military dental researchers are the only investigators conducting research to mitigate the loss of facial tissue function and restoration with high quality bone and skin for those service members.”

Military research units address dental disease and craniomaxillofacial battle injuries. The research detachment includes Army, Navy and Air Force officers in oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontal surgery, plastic surgery, comprehensive dentistry, dental materials science and engineering, dental epidemiology, dental infectious disease and dental public health.

To follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts, visit ADA.org/advocacy.