Citizen-Soldier-Dentist: Raymond continues mission in Tupelo

Daily Journal –

Dentist Dr. Abby Raymond brings a world of experience to his Tupelo practice.

The Indiana-born Raymond, who took over Affordable Dentures and Implants a year ago, lived in Somalia as a child and served in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army dentst.

“My goal is just to give back,” said Raymond, who served 5 ½ years on active duty and remains a member of the Army National Guard.

Service is a family tradition. Raymond’s father served as an Army combat medic in Vietnam and his grandfather served in the Army Air Corps. Raymond trained as a dentist through the U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship Program.

“I always wanted to serve in some capacity,” Raymond said. “I’ve always been attracted to the army” with its emphasis on ethics and personal integrity. “It’s something I value.”

During his service with the 4th Combat Brigade Team of the 101st Airborne Division and 7th Special Forces Group, Raymond and his team were responsible for the oral health of U.S. soldiers and coalition forces. The care ran the gamut from filling cavities and performing root canals to dealing with trauma injuries. While he was deployed in Afghanistan, he performed procedures for more than 800 U.S. and coalition soldiers. He also trained other medical professionals in triaging in dental emergencies.

It was rewarding work because he could focus exclusively on what was best for his patients, even in austere conditions.

“In the Army, I didn’t have to worry about (patients) affording the procedure,” Raymond said. “I could always give them the best.”

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