Navy Dental Corps Officer Program (2024)

Last Updated on March 4, 2024

This guide provides useful information that will help with your decision to become a Navy Dental Corps Officer during Fiscal Year 2024.

A Dental Corps Officer is a Staff Corps Officer in the Navy who provides high-quality dental care to Sailors, Marines, and other service members, as well as their families, wherever duty takes them. The Navy Officer designator code for Navy Dental Corps Officer is 2200.

As you will see, there are many aspects to this commissioning program.

So, let us jump right into the details.

Navy Dental Corps Officer Job Description

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As a Dental Officer, you will provide quality dental care to Sailors, Marines, and other service members—as well as their families. 

You will perform annual exams, preventative care, and various types of dental restorations as needed.

Everything a “normal” dentist would do—and then some.

You may contribute to global disaster relief efforts or provide oral health care to people who would not otherwise have it.

As a Naval Officer in the Navy Dental Corps, you will serve your country by assisting those who defend it—as well as others in need.

As a dentist in the Navy, you will get to:

  • Contribute to humanitarian missions in the United States and virtually anywhere in the world
  • Introduce oral health care to parts of the world where it is more of a luxury than an expectation 
  • Share your expertise in domestic outreach for the benefit of children, the elderly, and the underprivileged
  • Spend more time with patients, have a more flexible schedule, and have no worry about malpractice insurance, expensive equipment, or paperwork, which are all burdens in private practice

In the world of Navy Health Care, you can gain a broader range of experience more quickly because you will be at the forefront of the dental field. 

And, no matter where you serve, you will have access to the most innovative technology, including: 

  • Innovative dental restoration materials
  • Advanced dental surgery equipment
  • Digital X-ray systems
  • Patented Forward Deployable Dental Dressing (FDDD) 
  • Saliva tests that can help detect exposure to life-threatening diseases like tuberculosis and anthrax
  • Video teleconferencing

Dental Corps Officer Duty Stations

As a Dental Officer, you might work at any of over 250 Navy and medical facilities around the world, in some of the most dynamic environments imaginable—from Hawaii to Japan, Germany to Guam, and Washington, D.C. to Washington state.

You may also work at one of the highly regarded Medical Centers in Bethesda, Maryland, Portsmouth, Virginia, or San Diego, California. 

Alternatively, you could provide dental care to deployed troops on one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.

More health-care opportunities are available both at home and abroad in a variety of settings, including operational forces, such as on board a surface ship, collaborating with a nearby aircraft squadron, or even the Fleet Marine Force (serve with the Marine Corps).

As you can see, this job encompasses more adventures and responsibilities outside the dental clinic.

Whatever position you hold, you will provide leadership and expertise to your country, the men and women who defend it, their families, and others in need.

Dental Corps in Navy Medicine

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Navy Health Care is truly world class in health-care networks. 

Navy Medicine is composed of a dedicated group of thousands of physicians, dentists, nurses, and specialists working together to serve the public. 

Not to mention, they support the various needs of service members, their families, and humanity while spreading goodwill and health wherever and whenever.

Whether it is saving lives or promoting good health, reaching out to those in need or moving the field of health care forward, Navy Health Care offers an opportunity unlike any other. 

These medical professionals are part of a world-class health-care team that makes a difference on a global scale. 

They get to experience challenges, benefits, and rewards that are typically unavailable in the private sector.

Dental Corps Officer Specialties

Navy Dentistry provides practicing options in over a dozen distinct concentration areas, ranging from general dentistry to advanced specializations, such as:

  • Operative Dentistry
  • Oral Pathology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Oral and Facial Pain Clinic
  • Maxillofacial Prosthodontics 
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology 
  • Periodontics
  • Pediatrics
  • Public Health
  • Research
  • Prosthodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Orthodontics

Dental Corps Officer Available Positions

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You have objectives, commitments, and priorities as an aspiring or experienced health-care practitioner.

If you are still in college and considering the Navy Dental Corps as a career, you will need to get accepted to a dental school first.

Successful applicants in our community suggest this Dental Admission Test (DAT) study guide to maximize your chances of being selected.

Once you get your selection, you will then compete for a Dental Corps Officer position.

With that in mind, there are several ways for you to commit to serving in America’s Navy.

Active Duty

Active Duty Officers work full-time.

This enables you to make the most of potential career and leadership chances. 

These officers enjoy the most comprehensive set of advantages, and make the largest potential impact – all while fully immersing themselves in the world of travel and adventure.


Navy Reserve Officers work just part-time.

This allows you to keep your civilian job while serving as little as two days per month and two weeks per year. 

This is a great opportunity for further service and salary. 

The Reserves come with the flexibility of configuring variable drilling choices to better meet service requirements, while still receiving many of the same perks and benefits of full-time service.

Service Commitment

The first service period might be as short as three years.

It is determined by your specialty and several other things.

A Medical Officer Recruiter can assist you in determining this.

Education Opportunities in the Dental Corps

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With extensive financial support and continuing education programs, the Navy can help reduce your financial responsibilities and develop your dentistry profession no matter where you are in your career. 

Scholarships, sign-on incentives, and loan repayment aid are examples of available options.

And help may be available whether you are in graduate school, residency, or are already in practice.

If you are a student or resident, you may focus on your education or training because you have no military or training responsibilities until you complete your program.

Here are the education programs available to those who wish to become Navy Dental Officers:

For Students

Students who want to serve full time in the Navy can receive their dental school tuition completely paid for. 

If you attend a school of your choosing, you may graduate debt-free.

The Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) provides full tuition assistance for dentistry school, as well as the following benefits:

  • $2,060 monthly stipend to assist pay living expenses for up to 48 months 
  • $20,000 sign-on bonus

While entering dentistry school, you might earn between $157,000 and $269,000 under the Navy Health Services Collegiate Program (HSCP). 

  • Monthly military wage 
  • Significant housing allowance
  • Complete health-care benefits package

These incentive offers are subject to change. 

Contact a Medical Officer Recruiter for more information and to choose which offer is best for you.

For Residents

Residents who choose to serve full time in the Navy can receive extra income throughout their dental residency through the Navy Financial Assistance Program (FAP), which can provide you with $275,000 or more during your residency. 

This includes:

  • $2,060 monthly stipend to assist pay living expenses for up to 48 months
  • $45,000 yearly grant for up to four years (on top of normal resident pay)

Residents who want to serve as reservists on a part-time basis can receive: 

  • Monthly stipend of $2,060 while completing a dental residency
  • In addition, up to $50,000 in dentistry school loan repayment aid is available

Contact a Medical Officer Recruiter for more information.

For Experienced Providers

Practicing dentists who choose to serve full time in the Navy can get financial assistance

If you are presently a practicing dentist, you may be eligible for a sign-on incentive ranging from $75,000 to $300,000.

Practicing dentists who want to serve as reservists on a part-time basis can choose from one of three attractive financial incentives:

  • Up to $75,000 in speciality pay 
  • Up to $50,000 in debt repayment aid for dentistry school 
  • An instant one time sign-on incentive of up to $10,000

Contact a Medical Officer Recruiter for more information.

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Navy Dental Corps Officer Qualifications

CitizenshipDental Corps Officer applicants must be an American citizen or a foreign national allowed to practice in the United States.
AgeDental Officer applicants must be younger than 48 years of age at the time of commissioning.
GenderThe Dental Corps Officer program has no gender restrictions. This program is open to both men and women.
Marital StatusThe Dental Corps Officer program has no marital status restrictions.
PhysicalApplicants must be in good physical condition and pass a comprehensive medical evaluation.
EducationDental Corps applicants must be a graduate of an accredited dental school in the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Dental and Auxiliary Educational Programs of the American Dental Association, according to Appointment of Regular and Reserve Officers in the Dental Corps of the United States Navy, OPNAVINST I 120.5B.
LicensureAs required by BUMEDINST 6010.30, applicants must be licensed to practice dentistry in a U.S. state, territory, or commonwealth, or in the District of Columbia. Recent dental school graduates (within 6 months) may be appointed prior to licensure; however, they must receive a valid, current license within 1 year after graduating from dental school. Dentists from states that need a 5th year of training (PGY-1, AEGD, or GPR) before licensing will be given an additional 6 months from the conclusion of their 5th year to receive their license.
Professional ExperienceApplicants must be actively engaged in the practice of dentistry in accordance with OPNAVINST 1120.5B, unless the DC Corps Chief’s office proves substantial previous clinical experience and licensing per paragraph 4h (2) of this document. Recent graduates are excluded if their application date is within 6 months of their graduation date.Dental Corps candidates must have the requisite qualifications to be given clinical privileges, as outlined in the Credentialing And Privileging Program, BUMEDINST 6010.30.
Professional ReviewThe Professional Review Board (PRB) of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) will review all applicants’ credentials and professional qualifications. Before submitting an accession package for evaluation by the PRB, the Dental Corps program manager, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC), must have the applicant’s credentials confirmed by the Centralized Credentialing and Privileging Directorate (CCPD) in Jacksonville, FL.Except for recent graduates and 5th year candidates, all applicants must have current proficiency in the speciality for which they are being appointed, as well as the capacity to earn CCPD certification.
Source: Navy Personnel Command (April 2019)

Dental Corps Officer Service Obligation

Active Duty

From the date of appointment, there is a three-year active-duty requirement. 

The remaining service time, up to a total of eight years, may be served in a ready reserve condition. 

Furthermore, the receipt of special pay and bonuses, education obligations, and minimum activity tour requirements because of being admitted to the Navy as an active duty officer may cause an extension of the aforementioned obligation term.


Selectees will be required to serve an eight-year Ready Reserve duty, with the first three years as a Selected Reserve.

The obligation takes effect upon commissioning. 

Moreover, the receipt of a special compensation, bonus, or education requirement may cause the aforementioned obligation term to be extended.

More Information

If you want more information about becoming a Navy Dental Corps Officer, the next logical step is to control your local Naval Officer Recruiter.

With the help of your recruiter, you may quickly determine if a Naval Dentist career is even the right move for you.

However, if you are still in college, your most immediate step is to fully prepare for the Dental Admission Test and get selected for dental school.

Hope you find this helpful in your career planning.

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