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Omaha dentist credits time in Air Force for success

'You’re in a class full of doctors, and lawyers, and dentists, and just all these professionals that finished school.
Posted at 7:04 PM, Feb 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-28 20:04:45-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha dentist Chrissy Pruitt loves building her patients’ confidence and transforming smiles.

“When you see somebody come in and they’re just a totally different person afterwards, it’s our why,” she said.

March marks two years she’s played a role in that transition at her practice, All Smiles Family Dentistry in Dundee.

Before she was working on the smiles of Nebraska residents in our community, she was working on the teeth of our military members.

“I got to meet, and really appreciate, what our service members do and do dentistry, which I was going to do anyway,” Pruitt said. “So, it was a win-win.”

After graduating from UNMC’s dentistry school in 2010, she was off to Alabama for officer training with the United States Air Force.

“It was a shock to my system you know, there were a lot of new things you have to learn and a lot of people yelling at you for a good amount of time,” she laughed.

Shock followed by admiration.

“You’re in a class full of doctors, and lawyers, and dentists, and just all these professionals that finished school. They’re breaking you down like everyone else, because it’s not about you, it’s about the mission.”

The western Nebraska native returned to Omaha after training and was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, where she began a one-year AEDG (Advanced Education General Dentistry).

“We just got to do a lot of additional, more advanced things that were beyond the scope of dental school,” Pruitt said.

She remained on active duty for four years – treating service members and tracking dental records and medications as a fly officer and executive officer to the Hospital Commander.

“It was a really special group,” she said. “I have a lot of fun memories.”

The veteran recently earned the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Accreditation, joining an elite group of dental professionals with the credential.

“It has taken five years,” Pruitt said. “I am one of two people in Nebraska that have that accreditation.”

She said the Air Force gave her the drive and leadership skills that have made her successful today, along with an appreciation and understanding of what the military – and its service members – mean to our country.

“Giving yourself, giving your time, and ultimately some give their lives, you know, to this mission to keep our country safe,” she gleamed. “It’s super important and I was blessed to be a part of it in a small way.”

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