Dental Tourism and Dental Health – Manila Bulletin


Filipino dentistry has come a long way since early Filipinos practiced a rudimentary version of dentistry before Spanish colonization in the 1500s. In fact, dental tourism is a booming industry, with foreigners and Balikbayans choosing the skills and the world class services of Filipino dentists combined with their much cheaper rates.

We all know dentists and orthodontists, but did you know that we have some of the best prosthodontists in Asia? Since there are only less than 200 registered members of the Philippine Prosthodontics Society (PPS), this specialist group has been under the radar of “pop culture” dentistry. A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in replacing missing teeth and related structures in the mouth or jaw with bridges, dentures or dentures. To specialize in this field, prosthodontists must first complete an additional three years of training after dental school, and that’s probably why there are only 3,500 prosthodontists in the United States. In 2019 data from, prosthodontics ranks as the eighth highest paying job in the United States. It is therefore no small feat that the PPS will host the 13th Biennial Congress of the Asian Academy of Prosthodontics from August 25 to 27, 2022, where renowned experts in the field, from industry speakers on the international scene to experts from the Philippines led by Dr. Adrian Carlos Manaloto, are ready to share their expertise in different areas in this three-day virtual conference.

“It is indeed an honor for the Philippines to host such a prestigious event that only takes place every two years. It also means that the global dental community has truly recognized the skills of our Filipino dentists and that we are at equality with our international counterparts,” says Dr. Manaloto.

Manaloto, who completed his studies at the prestigious Korea University, could easily have pursued a well-paying job in Seoul, where plastic surgery, including dental work, have been lucrative pursuits, chose to practice in the Philippines because the slot here is not filled yet. and now.

But as we make progress in the dental field, as evidenced by the Philippines hosting a specialized international convention, oral disease continues to be a serious public health problem. Dr. Shirley Mosende, chief dental officer of the Ministry of Health, said tooth decay and gum disease suffered by about 87 percent of Filipinos should be given serious attention.

This public health issue has often been overlooked, but as Senator Sonny Angara acknowledged, this problem, as minor as it may seem, can lead to more serious consequences, including loss of productivity. Not only do most Filipinos fear actual dental procedures, but the high costs of dental care.

“I have introduced Senate Bill 962 and called for the establishment of a dental unit in every health center under DOH supervision as part of the nation’s primary health care approach,” said Angara.
Hopefully, this will be followed by other legislative efforts to close the gaps in the comprehensive national healthcare system, including ensuring and promoting the dental health of every Filipino.

In fact, besides dental problems, research has linked gum disease to other health problems, including heart complications, strokes, and respiratory problems.

While a few can afford specialists and we pat them on the back because we now have dentists who are on par with international practitioners, multi-sector efforts must continue to see this problem not just at the superficial level of “the ‘lightening of the smile’, but see it as a serious matter that can lead to further complications if left untreated.