Press Release
February 4, 2018

7 of 10 Filipinos have never been to a dentist

Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for the passage of a bill that seeks to create a dental unit in every rural health unit in the country so as to promote preventive dental healthcare especially in rural areas.

According to the National Monitoring and Evaluation Dental Survey conducted by the Department of Health (DOH) in 2011, 87% of Filipinos suffer from tooth decay, and 7 out of 10 have never been to a dentist.

"This alarming number can be attributed to lack of awareness of the importance of and limited access to oral hygiene, as well as high cost of dental care. There is a lack of institutional means to promote and ensure dental health of every Filipino," Angara said.

Angara's proposed measure, Senate Bill 1569, seeks to reverse this unfortunate situation by creating a dental unit in each of the rural health units listed under the DOH, as part of the country's overall primary healthcare strategy.

The Philippines now observes National Dental Health Week from Feb. 3 to 9 by virtue of a presidential proclamation in 1951, which was later expanded into a month-long celebration. The proclamation highlights the importance of raising dental health consciousness among the Filipinos.

The senator noted that in economic terms, every tooth affected means the loss of productivity of two days, lost opportunities, recurring pain and severe discomfort, as well as increased cost of dental treatments.

"Sa pagtatalaga ng dentista sa bawat rural health unit sa bansa, masisiguro na mas maraming Pilipino ang mabibigyan ng tamang dental health service," Angara said.

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