The Philippine Dental Association (PDA) issued a warning against the proliferation of fake dental braces made by fake Orthodontists. These fake dental braces and retainers results in complications such as infected gums, tooth loss and mouth infections.

Dental braces and retainers are used for corrective interventions with regards to uneven teeth or gaps between teeth. The dental braces are custom made for each patient and is the result of careful and scientific measurements that will be worn for a prescribed period of time and subject to adjustments within said period.

Only professional dentists and orthodontists with certified training are allowed to perform such procedures and craft said dental braces and retainers.

In the Philippines, the use of dental braces and retainers have increased since the mid-1980s wherein said corrective devices were used to correct underbites, overbites, teeth alignment and malocclusions by using calculated and progressive force and pressure on the teeth.

Starting in the 1990s, such devices were also considered as status symbols since they were first encountered on Balikbayan youth and then students from exclusive schools, wing to their above average expense at acquisition and maintenance.

It was only a matter of time that fake braces and retainers were sold along the sidewalks of Quiapo and Avenida Rizal in Manila. Such stories that one’s retainers was borrowed by a brother because he had a date became common among the lower income class of the youth.

But there were also stories that told of infections, gum swelling and tooth loss because of these fake dental devices.

There are also anecdotes of fake orthodontists who would craft such devices at  very discounted prices with instances as low as Php5,000.00. These were then used by those who needed corrective dental measures. These horror stories would lead to the above mentioned side-effects.

The PDA President Dr. Carlos C. Buendia disclosed that these illegal practitioners have already begun to be prevalent and that the repercussions of such dental devices have taken their toll on unknowing Filipinos. Cases of gum diseases, tooth loss and even hepatitis have been reported due to these unlicensed practitioners. A raid conducted in Pangasinan province resulted in the arrest of a pedicab driver who pretended to be a dentist. Seized were instruments for the manufacture of dental devices.

The PDA advised that any case of illegal practice be immediately reported to the PDA and law enforcement authorities for immediate action. Included in the advice was that first make sure that these are bona fide dental professionals, the working areas are clean and sanitary.

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