February is not only for hearts, flowers, and chocolates but for dental health professionals as well.Â Each year, dentists gather to have fun, exchange ideas, and reaffirm their Hippocratic oaths.
Known as the “National Dental Health Month”, February is marked in the national calendar as a month for raising awareness on oral health and for recognizing the important role that dentists and other dental health professionals play in the nation’s health.
As always, this year’s events will be spearheaded by the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) and will see the active participation of dental health professionals from around the country. This year's theme - Ngiping Pinatibay, Ngiting Walang Humpay, Para sa Kinabuksa’y Maginhawang Tunay – stresses the connection between strong teeth and a healthy and prosperous future.
Dr. Lillian Lasaten-Ebuen of Total Body Dentistry and Executive Director of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) in the Philippines expressed support for this year’s events stating that it is in line with her group’s call for less toxic dental treatment procedures. “We’ve always stated that good health begins in the mouth. What you eat, how you take care of your teeth, and the type of dental procedures all affect an individual’s overall health.”
“The past year has seen advances and revelations in the field of dental research,” she continues, “but the big boost came from the ratification of an international treaty on mercury-use.” Explaining that mercury amalgam – a restorative material used by dentists for filling teeth cavities – is hazardous to human health and the environment - the treaty finally gave the push needed to eventually halt its production and use.
According to Dr. Ebuen, The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimated the global use of dental mercury at between 300 – 400 metric tonnes per year thus justifying a need for a phasedown and elimination.
“Our main focus now is to work with the Department of Health (DOH), dental schools, and dental health associations such as the PDA in raising awareness regarding mercury’s toxicity.” Dr. Ebuen explains. “At this stage, many dental health professionals remain adamant and with the help of the DOH, we’ll conduct trainings and other awareness raising programs around the country.”
Emphasizing the need for consumer education and dentists offering alternatives, Dr. Ebuen reassures that IAOMT-Philippines will continue to promote and foster initiatives to completely remove not only mercury but also other toxins used in dental health.
For more info, please visit the IAOMT website at iaomtphilippines.org or email us at