PDA seeks creation of dental bureau

THE PHILIPPINE Dental Association (PDA) Davao City chapter is pushing for the creation of a separate bureau under the Department of Health to address oral health problems in the country.

PDA-Davao president Dr. Pinky Ancog said they are promoting the Big Bang for Oral Health Care project  “to make a big noise nationwide to advocate oral health programs among the Filipino citizens.”

“According to World Health Organization and DOH (Department of Health record in 2016, 53 percent admit to visit dentist only when they experience pain. Also, the Philippines has the most number of denture wearers in Asia with a total of nine million denture wearers and around seven million Filipinos have never been into a dentist,” she said.

With the project, she said, this will make the oral health services in the country to be one of the priority and vertical programs of the DOH, which will eventually lead for the creation of a bureau that would cater basic and essential oral health services for the public.

Ancog said with the project, they are hoping for the possible revival of the “Dental Bureau” of the DOH central office, which will supervise and look into the oral health programs of the national office for the local communities.

“We know that this is a very ambitious program but something has to be done,” she added.

The PDA-Davao president noted that oral diseases continue to be a severe public health problem in the country, pointing out that about 92.7 percent of Filipinos have tooth decay and 78 percent have gum diseases (according to DOH).

“Although preventable, these diseases affect almost every Filipinos. Oral disease may directly affect a limited area of a human body but the consequences and impact affects the body as a whole,” Dr. Ancog said.

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