COL RICHARD L. WILLIAMS Commander, DTRD
The U.S. Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment (DTRD), is co-located with U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force dental research units at the new Battlefield Health and Trauma Research Institute on Fort Sam Houston’s Brooke Army Medical Center campus. Together, these military research units work synergistically as the Craniomaxillofacial (CMF) task area to address common military issues of dental disease and craniomaxillofacial battle injuries.
DTRD is comprised of officers from all three services in the specialties of: oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontal surgery, plastic surgery, comprehensive dentistry, dental materials science and engineering, dental epidemiology, dental infectious disease, and dental public health. These officers lead military and civilian scientists in the fields of biology, microbiology, cellular and molecular biology, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and chemistry to perform research and develop solutions to mitigate dental disease in service members (SM) and optimize treatment of CMF battlefield injuries (BIs) with the goal of returning the SM to full function.
DTRD brings together experts from a wide range of scientific, dental and medical fields to create a fertile, multidisciplinary research environment. It involves the efforts of many individuals with diverse scientific research expertise.
Although our research facility has only recently been completed, research efforts have already yielded a substantial number of noteworthy accomplishments. Our projects have been able to expand the scientific knowledge based of microbiology and biofilm mitigation; utilize important animal models to study injury and healing individually, and under the threat of infection; and test advanced materials and products for hard and soft tissue regeneration. Our efforts also extend beyond the laboratory into clinical trials and product development anti-plaque chewing gum (APCG).
Our prospective studies in combat dentistry address the needs of dental casualties. Having direct access to the JTTR and EMR database facilitate understanding among clinicians and researchers about the long-term impacts of treatment decisions and will pave the way for integrating research discoveries into clinical practice.
Our success can be ascribed, at least in part, to the partnerships and collaborations we establish. We collaborate with strategic researchers, academic and industry partners for research, education and technology transfer to accelerate the delivery of regenerative and advanced technologies for severely injured SMs. Our objective is twofold: lessen initial complications and restore structure and function of damaged soft and hard tissues with fewer surgeries and revisions utilizing advanced technologies.