PATIENTS in Baguio City needing dental treatment will have to deal with an increase in fees, as the industry has been subjected to the use of anti-coronavirus health equipment to thwart infections.
Philippine Dental Association-Baguio City Chapter President Doctor Obi Banta said guidelines and protocol have been issued by the Philippine Dental Association, together with the advisory and recommendations coming from local government unit for all dental practitioners in the city on what procedure is be followed by patients going to a dental clinic.
"The number one priority of our dental practitioners is their security and safety aside from what procedures have to be done to patients. It's too expensive to go to a clinic right now because of the increased fees of a dental practitioners, as they have to meet the standards to practice to which they would have to spend for their personal protective equipment, electronic units and materials needed in a clinic which is an additional cost for dental practitioners although majority of our members are compliant with the health protocols and procedures regarding Covid," Banta said.
PDA Baguio's membership at present now has around 500, with active practitioners numbering to more than 300 who have been advised to strictly follow guidelines and protocols, particularly for patients to undergo booking appointments and to get in touch with their dentists to know availability, aside from the dentist to conduct triaging and interviewing process of patients of personal circumstances and what specific dental procedures a patient should undergo.
"At the same time, all of the cost of materials have increased which is one of the problems being faced by a practitioner. Normally, the price of a face masks, gloves and gowns was not as expensive as it is today, but because of additional requirements like face shields and others for every patient," the dental practitioner stated.
A dental practitioner today can only accommodate less than six patients a day due to the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE), which have to changed per patient.
"The dental fees to be charged by a dental practitioners would depend on how much the practitioners would charge, and would have to be based on the medical requirements to be practiced such as PPE's to be used by the practitioners," Banta added.
PDA-Baguio, in cooperation with the City Health Services Office, has restarted its information campaign in the 16 health centers in the city. The campaign focuses on oral health promotions, Covid-19, Republic Act 1148 or the "Mag Nanay Act" or the proper breastfeeding and checkup of mothers and their children, including Republic Act 9489 or the illegal practice of dentistry.
Banta advised the public to be aware of illegal dental procedures being done in the city and to immediately inform authorities of such illegal acts.