Like the Hospital Corpsman (HM) rating, the now-defunct Dental Technician (DT) rating was born from the Pharmacist’s Mate (PhM) rating when the Navy radically changed the rating structure in 1948. Similarly, the work classification of Dentalman was created, with Dentalman Recruits (paygrade E1) and Apprentices (E2). Service ratings included DT General (DTG), DT Prosthetic (DTP), and DT Repair (DTR).

The DT rating comprised a variety of jobs, nearly all of which had titles prefaced with “Dental:” Administrative Technician, Equipment Repair Technician, Hygienist, Laboratory Technician (Basic, Advanced, and Maxillofacial), and Surgical Technologist. The lone exception was the job of Field Service Technician. DT Sailors that were assigned to a Fleet Marine Force or a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion attended a Class “C” school and graduated with NEC 8707. DTs working as Field Service Technicians were the rating's frontline force, assisting dental officers in delivering treatment in the field in support of Navy and Marine Corps field units.

Given their common heritage going back to the Pharmacist’s Mate rating, it was somewhat appropriate that the Navy decided to merge the Dental Technician rating into the Hospital Corpsman rating in 2005. Fortunately for Sailors serving as Dental Technicians, they were not required to attend the Class “A” Hospital Corpsman school when the merger was announced.

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