Prevention Is Key

Written by Administrator.


We often hear that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. It may be an old adage but it is sound good advice. This is especially true when it comes to taking care of our teeth. Preventing the onset of cavities and gum disease through proper oral health care or proper nutrition is worth a lot more than sophisticated treatments and space age technology.

Thus, Total Body Dentistry is pleased to hear that recently, the Department of Health (DOH) awarded the cities of Marikina and Muntinlupa for their excellent programmes on oral health awareness and having the least incidence of caries among pre-school children.

Pre-School Children and Tooth Decay

The DOH further stated that the Philippines has a high prevalence of tooth problems and is sorely behind other countries when it comes to oral health care. DOH Undersecretary for Oral Health Programmes, Teodoro Herbosa, stated that cities and municipalities with active oral health awareness campaigns can help reduce the staggering figures.

The DOH figures further show that pre-school children are more at risk to developing dental caries. The lack of information plus diets, which are high in sugar, and a general relaxed approach to oral hygiene contribute to the high numbers.

Problems arise when the bacteria that feeds on sugar remains unchecked. The bacteria can cause plaque build-up which compromises the integrity of the tooth’s enamel, leading to cavities and gum disease.

Prevention is key

Total Body Dentistry is one with Usec. Herbosa in pronouncing that awareness and prevention are effective measures in the management and control of oral health diseases. Reaching out to communities and particularly the marginalized sectors (who are more vulnerable to cavities and other oral health problems) is a positive step towards reducing the prevalence of oral health problems in the country.
Preventive measures such as proper brushing, flossing, and eating health food will also help lessen the need for intrusive dental treatment and the use of toxics products in repairing damaged teeth. 

For more info on oral health care, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


A report by the  DOH found that about 92.4% of Filipinos have tooth decay (dental caries) and 78% have gum diseases (periodontal diseases). http://www.doh.gov.ph/node/1066.html

Ozone Thearpy Treatment

Written by Administrator.

The field of dentistry is still far from the non-invasive medical technology of Star Trek but it is getting there. As more dental professionals are realizing the value of non-invasive and non-toxic treatment, researchers and dentists are coming up with non-intrusive treatments and strategies.

Ozone Therapy Treatment

One form of treatment that is gaining a lot of interest is Ozone Therapy Treatment. Widely practiced in Europe, Ozone Therapy is used to treat and manage a wide range of medical conditions. In large quantities, ozone can be harmful but if handled properly and applied on selected areas, this technology is extremely beneficial.

As ozone is nature’s way of clearing the atmosphere, medicine has taken of advantage of this and harnessed it to encourage the production of naturally occurring antioxidants in the body. While this form of treatment is common for managing heart disease or cancer, in dentistry, Ozone Therapy Treatment is utilized to address small portions of decay.

Non-invasive and non-toxic, Ozone Therapy Treatment sterilizes infected areas without the use of drills or any other harmful and painful methods of getting into the affected tooth. The treatment penetrates infected areas killing harmful bacteria in the process and protecting the tooth from further damage.

Carol Van Stoep, dental hygienist and author of the book, “Mouth Matters”, states that Ozone Therapy is more effective in re-mineralizing teeth as fluoride can be damaging. “While making the enamel denser, it also makes it more brittle by destroying the surface crystal matrix that helps protect the tooth. It's a very similar process as osteoporosis drugs that make your bones denser but more brittle...” she maintains.

Non-invasive dental procedures are still in its early stages but Ozone Therapy shows promise. In the Philippines,  Total Body Dentistry is one of the few dental clinics in the country to have Ozone Therapy Treatment. True to its commitment of promoting non-toxic and non-harmful treatments, Dr Lillian Lasaten-Ebuen took and passed a rigorous course on Ozone Therapy Treatment last year.

For more info on Ozone Therapy Treatment and how it can benefit you, don’t hesitate to call us at 7235167 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it





Exploring Mercury-Free Dental Amalgam Alternatives

Written by Administrator.

The ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury is a fantastic step in terms of protecting the environment and people’s health. However, as countries are exploring strategies to limit mercury use in industries and other sectors, the issue of mercury use in dentistry remains a subject of debate.

Supporters claim that studies on the toxicity of dental mercury are inconclusive and for poor or developing countries such as the Philippines, dental amalgam fillings are practical. Based on an oral health survey conducted by the Department of Health,   revealed that 97 percent of six-year old children  suffer from tooth decay and the condition continue to deteriorate as they grow older. Given this premise, the use of dental amalgam fillings appears reasonable.

Then on the other side of the debate, we have critics who are actually armed with numerous data and research on the dangers of dental mercury. Mercury, despite its many practical uses, is still toxic. In fact, it is one of the most deadly toxin known to man. The World Health Organisation even stated in a report   that mercury has no safe level of exposure. Meaning, even the minutest vapour can wreak havoc on one’s health and the environment. Scientific research or none, common sense dictates that you should not put any toxic material in your mouth – or anywhere on your body – for that matter. Yet, supporters remain resolute.

Dental amalgam fillings, which is 50 percent mercury, may be the cheapest dental restorative material available today but the consequences associated with its use simply outweigh the benefits. Before we introduce mercury-free alternatives, think about these reasons why dental mercury use should cease.

•    Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin. It can easily seep into the bloodstream and penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and children are particularly vulnerable.
•    Dentists, dental technicians, and other dental professionals are exposed to mercury vapours on a daily basis. According to a study by IAOMT-Philippines and BAN Toxics!, dental facilities that use dental mercury emit high levels of mercury vapour. 
•    Dentistry students are equally exposed to mercury vapours as the dentistry syllabus requires students to handle/use or hone their skills using dental amalgam fillings.
•    Dental mercury waste is one of the largest contributors to mercury pollution in the air, ground, and water.

Mercury-Free Alternatives

With the Minamata Convention soon to take effect, this is the best time to explore mercury-free dental restorative treatment.

These are:

Composite Resin Fillings. This dental filling is made from a type of plastic reinforced with powdered glass. It’s advantage is that it’s color can be made to match surrounding teeth, making it aesthetically pleasing. However, this treatment is expensive and has an average lifespan of only seven to eight years.

Critics have cited that composites leach BPA – a toxic substance that can cause cancer but based on the findings of several prestigious bodies including dental organizations such as The British Dental Association, The Canada Dental Association, and The US Dental Association attest to its safety.   In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics also stated that, “On the basis of the proven benefits of resin-based dental materials and the brevity of BPA exposure, we recommend continued use...On the basis of the substantiated preventive benefits of  resin-based dental sealants and given the brevity of elevated exposure to BPA after sealant application, we recommend continuing application of resin-based sealants in dental practice and in school-based/school-linked dental-sealant programs.”

Glass Ionomer Cement Fillings. Similar to composites, except this treatment is only recommended for small restorative work. Aside from its aesthetic advantage, glass ionomer also releases fluoride over time.

Gold Foil Fillings. Gold has a long history of use and it was once the popular choice given that it is a sturdy and reliable filling. Gold’s disadvantages are, it does not match teeth color, it conducts heat and cold, and expensive.

Ceramics. Stain resistant and strong, ceramics is a strong contender but this filling is abrasive and as expensive as gold.

Total Body Dentistry is a mercury-free dental clinic and only use safe materials such as composites and glass ionomers for treating dental caries. As dentists, we have a responsibility and obligation of protecting the oral health of our communities. As a patient, you should exercise your right and ask for adequate information regarding treatments.

For more info, you can visit our clinic or send us an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


[1] http://www.doh.gov.ph/node/1066.html

[2] World Health Organization. Mercury in Health Care: Policy Paper. Geneva, Switzerland; August 2005: 1. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/medicalwaste/mercurypolpaper.pdf

[3] A Study on Mercury Levels of Ambient Air in Dental Clinics and its Impacts on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and the Environment. Unpublished.

[4] http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DentalProducts/DentalAmalgam/ucm171108.htm

[5] http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-fillings

[6] http://www.zeromercury.org/phocadownload/Developments_at_EU_level/Appendix_I_-The_Safety_of_Alternatives_to_Dental_Mercury_2.pdf




Dental Amalgam Causes Poisoning. Advocacy Groups Call for Immediate Ban.

Written by Administrator.


Presented with the key findings of the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), the EU scientific community finally acknowledged that the continued use of dental amalgam fillings and its resulting wastes could cause second-hand mercury poisoning when tainted fish is consumed.

“While we are pleased with the announcement, we can’t help but wonder why it took this long.,” states Dr Lillian Lasaten-Ebuen of The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) in the Philippines. “We have been talking about the dangers posed by dental amalgam fillings for years and this acknowledgement by the European scientific community validates our statement.”

Often regarded by supporters as harmless and safe, European scientists found that dental amalgam fillings can methylate and turn into methylmercury – mercury’s most toxic form – and can contaminate fish. Mercury does not dissolve or breakdown, but instead it accumulates and increases at every level. Once consumed by humans, mercury content in large predatory fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish have exceeded acceptable and safe levels,   leading to second-hand mercury poisoning.

With long-term exposure or consumption, mercury can wreak havoc on the body’s systems primarily targeting the brain and nervous system. Children and pregnant or women of child-bearing age are more vulnerable to mercury poisoning as the neurotoxin can accumulate in vital organs and can easily break the blood-brain barrier. 

Recently, IAOMT-Philippines collaborated with social and environmental justice group BAN Toxics! and measured the levels of mercury emissions in locations where dental amalgam fillings are used or stockpiled. The tests yielded high results that confirmed Dr Ebuen’s suspicions all along. 

“The astonishingly high mercury levels would require an evacuation by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) but sadly, even some in the dental health profession remain resolute.” Dr Ebuen shares. However, IAOMT-Philippines is working with the Department of Health (DOH) and other concerned groups in pushing for a mercury-free approach to dentistry.

Through a series of training-lectures, dental outreach programmes, and information dissemination, IAOMT-Philippines is reaching out to vulnerable sectors such as dentists, women, and youth. Together with the removal and phasing out of mercury-containing products and devices in all (dental) healthcare facilities including dental institutions, IAOMT-Philippines is pushing for dental amalgam ban and a revision in the dentistry curriculum that endorses the use of the material.
“Our research and the EU’s stand are a wake-up call to the government and the dental health sector in the country. We all should take heed and impose a ban on the use of dental amalgam fillings and implement effective measures in handling dental mercury wastes.” 

For more info on dental amalgam fillings, visit iaomt-philippines.


Testing for Mercury

Written by Administrator.


 Photo by Diana Mendoza/Rappler

Confirming suspicions raised by different environment and health groups on dental amalgam fillings, recent research revealed that there is a substantial amount of mercury emissions coming from facilities with a considerable volume of the mercury-containing product.

With support from the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), researchers from the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) in the Philippines and BAN Toxics!, measured ambient mercury vapour levels in selected dental schools, clinics, and supply stores around the country. Sampling the air with a Lumex RA915+, the research group found that mercury emissions in and around those facilities are high and “(e)xceed generally accepted human exposure limits.” 

According to lead researcher, Myline Macabuhay, “The results ranged from a low 967 nannogram per cubic meter (ng/m3) to high levels that would require an immediate evacuation by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).”

Presenting the results to a group of dental health professionals and government representatives, IAOMT-Philippines’ Executive Director, Dr Lillian Lasaten-Ebuen cited the use of dental amalgam fillings as the cause of the elevated mercury emission levels. “This restorative material is an alloy of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other trace materials. Due to its high mercury content, toxicologists have continuously warned us of its effects on the body’s system.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that as one of the most toxic elements known to man, mercury can damage the nervous, reproductive, and immune systems – and in some cases, can even be fatal.

In an effort to reduce and control the environmental and health hazards posed by mercury, various groups have called for a stop to using this toxic element. Resulting in the Minamata Convention on Mercury, this treaty is designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.

However, despite the local and international endeavours to phase-out mercury and mercury containing products, the dental sector in the Philippines is somewhat adamant as some dentists persist in using dental amalgams and dentistry schools continue to require students to practice and hone their skills using this type of restorative material.

“We cannot continue to ignore the situation,” adds Dr Ebuen. “Continued exposure to mercury vapour has its consequences and we are putting the health of dental professionals, students, patients, and the community at stake.”

Concluding the study, IAOMT-Philippines and BAN Toxics! recommend steps to be taken by the government and other concerned institutions. This includes the immediate prohibition of dental amalgams, revision of school curriculum, the ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and putting up an environmentally sound system for the storage and disposal of mercury and mercury-containing products.

The full research will be released later this year. For more information, visit our website at http://iaomtphillippines.org

3 Great Reasons to Get a Dental Cleaning (Or to Visit the Dentist)

Written by Administrator.



Going to the dentist may sound awful for many folks but keep in mind that perfect health includes great teeth.  So instead of trudging heavily to the dentist’s office, think about the following benefits:

1.    Preventing Diseases. Through cleaning, dentists also get a chance to look at tell-tale signs of disease. This is not only limited to gingivitis but also oral cancer. These oral diseases are debilitating in the long run but with early intervention these ailments can be reversed. Thorough cleaning also removes any plaque and any other residue that ordinary brushing and flossing can’t get rid of. Still, it’s no excuse to ditch the regular oral care regimen. Cleaning and check-ups are there to supplement the daily maintenance and to gently guide or remind patients the right procedures to oral health care.

2.    Early Detection. With early detection and diagnosis, dentists can prescribe appropriate treatment and care as soon as possible. This goes not only for gum disease and cancer but for other complications such as chipped teeth or compromised fillings as well.

3.    Teeth Maintenance. Routine cleaning will ensure a set of healthy teeth and gums. Apart from checking the overall health and stability of teeth, dentists will also buff and give teeth a much needed perk up. Coffee, curry, tea, and all other foods and drinks can stain teeth and there’s nothing like a thorough cleaning to bring out that bright, sunshine smile.

For additional info, please visit or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it