Measures vs illegal practices of dentistry pushed

(Joseph B.A. Marzan file photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

In a regular session on Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023, the Iloilo City Council approved on first reading the proposed ordinance “prohibiting all illegal practices of dentistry, including the unauthorized sale of dental materials and supplies within Iloilo City and providing penalties for violations thereof.”

Iloilo City Councilor Johnny Young, author of the proposed ordinance, said that measures against illegal practices of dentistry are important as the primary concern of the issue and what the ordinance is trying to protect is the health of the public.

The ordinance also stated that illegal practices in dentistry, “especially with the installation of braces involving unlicensed personnel, is a fairly common occurrence throughout the Philippines and in the City of Iloilo.”

“Dental materials and supplies are made readily available to the public without any prescription or authorization letter from a licensed dental professional,” it added.

Young also cited in the ordinance section VI of Republic Act 9484 (An act to Regulate the Practice of Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, and Dental Technology in the Philippines) which stated that “a person must be a holder of a Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification in Dentistry in order to perform dental procedures within the patient’s oral cavity for that matter, any other acts constituting the practice of dentistry.”

It is noted that the installation of fake dental braces, which some individuals only promote as fashion accessories and not as a medical need, has been circulating online as a form of business and at a very low price.

And it is just one of the types of illegal dentistry practices that the city government wants to stop through the proposed ordinance, according to Young.

Once it is already approved and passed, the ordinance would be applicable within the entire territory and jurisdiction of the city and shall be implemented by the City Health Office (CHO), which would be tasked “to monitor and inspect all suspected establishments and personnel, within performing illegal practices of dentistry.”

Those that will be found violating the said proposed ordinance will also be warned and fined P5,000 for the first offense; P10,000 fine and a warning for the second offense, and closure of establishment, three months of imprisonment, and a fine of P20,000 for the third and final offense.

The proposed ordinance was also referred to the Committee on Health for further study, report, and recommendation after it was approved on first reading.