‘Dentist’ in hot water for illegal dental work

A 31-YEAR-OLD woman has filed a complaint against a resident of Barangay Malabanias, Angeles City for allegedly performing illegal dental work.

Maricel Joson Pondolanan, 31, of Fairway Residences, Barangay Amsic in Angeles City, claimed that Noel Calaguas on August 3, 2018 “carried out oral surgery on her purporting to be a Doctor of Dental Medicine.”

A few weeks after the full mouth realignment procedure performed by Calaguas, Pondolanan said she experienced constant pain after the former performed teeth crowning to correct a skeletal overbite.

A crown is a cover or cap a dentist puts over a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size, and function.

Pondolanan filed charges against Calaguas before the Office of the City Prosecutor on April 24, 2019 for allegedly violating Republic Act (RA) 9484 which regulates the practice of dentistry.

The complainant said Calaguas is not qualified to perform dental works because he failed the board examination twice in 2011 and 2015.

Pondolanan also got a certification from the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) stating that Calaguas does not appear in the official records of membership.

Aside from this, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) issued a certification on February 4, 2019 stating that Calaguas “does not appear in the database for dentists/dental technologist/dental hygienists which contains the names of those duly authorized to practice dentistry/dental technology/dental hygiene in the Philippines.”

Based on his counter-affidavit dated June 19, 2019, Calaguas vehemently denied what he described as malicious accusations that Pondolanan hurled against him.

Calaguas claimed that he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Doctor of Dental Medicine at Jose C. Feliciano College.

The respondent said he is a dental assistant at First Choice Dental Clinic which is being managed and operated by Dr. Joanalyn Magtanong.

As a dental assistant, Calaguas said “some of his duties and responsibilities is to assist and provide dental procedure and technical support on patients under the control and supervision of Dr. Magtanong.”

Calaguas added that he only attended to Pondolanan on her dental procedure upon the instructions and directions of Dr. Magtanong.

“If not upon the instructions and directions of Dr. Joanalyn Magtanong I would not have performed any dental procedures or operations,” he said.

He added that Pondolanan sought the services of another dentist in the middle of their treatment procedure.

“The procedures done on Maricel Joson Pondolanan were correct and while we are still in the process of managing her dental procedures for post operations observations since it is of common experience that patients have different reactions to treatments and medication. However, we were surprised when she suddenly went to another dentist,” Calaguas said.

Calaguas added that he cannot be charged for violation of RA 9484 for being a mere dental assistant since he is only following the instructions of Dr. Magtanong to assist her on her patients.


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