Health

Quality and Affordable Dental Services at UP College of Dentistry

Are you looking for a dental clinic where you can go for quality and affordable dental services?
We all know that the Philippine General Hospital, located within the University of the Philippines Manila compound along Taft Avenue, is the place to go for affordable (and even free) health and medical services. But what about for dental services like cleaning, tooth extraction, filling, and even braces? Go to UP Manila College of Dentistry.
I have been going back to my alma mater more frequently these past few days. The main reason is to have my teeth cleaned and fillings restored at UPCD.
It is not my first time to visit their clinic. I have been here once when I was a freshman. Every freshman in UP Manila will need to undergo a dental check-up at UPCD prior to enrollment. Sadly, my next visit was after 9 years. The main reason for not going there ages ago was that I was not available on weekdays. And now that I am in between jobs and a student again, I have the time. Yey!
So what prompted me to visit UPCD again after all this time? A post from Overheard at UP. The post reads:

Graduate ako ng UPM College of Dentistry.
Six years ang Dentistry. Ang 5th at 6th year ay clinics o internship kung saan kailangan makumpleto ng isang clinician ang lahat ng required cases para makagraduate. Ang problema, karamihan sa clinicians ay nahihirapan humanap ng cases at pasyente dahil karamihan sa kanila ay galing sa iba’t ibang probinsya (walang kakilala dito sa Manila). Ang dapat na six years na course, nagiging 7 at minsan higit pa.
May isang Academic Year na walang nakagraduate on time. Last year, 7 lang ang on time. Mga kapwa iska at isko, kung may mga kakilala kayong nangangailangan ng dental treatment, paki-refer naman po sa UP College of Dentistry.
Sana tulungan natin ang mga kapwa natin isko at iska =)
Ang College of Dentistry ay nasa:
Pedro Gil Cor.Taft Avenue, Ermita Manila
Kung interesado po at may katanungan kayo, pakicontact na lamang po ako sa number na ito 09275457347 para mairefer ko kayo sa mga clinicians natin o kaya ay magcomment na lamang po dito. Salamat! – Kim Clemens Layugan

Upon reading that, I remembered some of my friends who were students and graduates of UPCD. It is true that most students get delayed in graduating because of these cases. 🙁 Anyway, I immediately sent a message to Angel requesting for an appointment. She replied immediately and I was set for June 18, 1 pm. She also gave me the name and contact number of the clinician who is assigned to my case. 🙂
Fast forward to June 18. Upon entering the college, I was asked to register in a logbook for patients with appointments. I also left an ID and I was given a Visitor’s Pass in exchange. The clinician sent me a message asking me where I was and I told her I was in the lobby. She fetched me and we went to the second floor where the clinics are located.
I filled out a registration form and paid 7 pesos as registration fee. In exchange, I was given a small stub of paper with my name and a serial number. The clinician informed me that I just have to present this stub next time so they can get my charts.
I was led to room with several cubicles and each cubicle has its own dental chair and the usual equipment and instruments that you see inside a dentist’s clinic. 🙂 My clinician is so nice and friendly… turns out, we have several friends in common. I was asked to wear goggles and the clinician strapped a bib over my chest to prevent staining my clothes.
UPCD Visit 1
Next, I was asked a lot of questions like personal information, family history, social history, chief complaints, etc. After that, she checked all my teeth and then proceeded to filling up my chart. She then told me the treatment plan: my teeth needs cleaning and that I have cavities that need to be filled. One tooth needs crowning because of the extent of the cavity. I had a dental x-ray done to check if one of the cavities is near the pulp. If it is, I would need a root canal first before crowning. She also checked if the tooth is vital using an electric pulp tester. The tester is placed on the tooth to be tested along with a small amount of toothpaste which serves as a conductor of electricity. The electric current is gradually increased until I signaled a sensation, which felt like pangingilo. It is similar to the sensation of having sensitive teeth… only greater. It felt my tooth was being tickled to death. LOL! She repeated the test just to make sure that I really sensed something. Good thing though that my tooth was vital, otherwise I would need a root canal therapy. She also noted that my gums are bleeding signaling an infection. Thus, I was scheduled for another appointment with another clinician on June 20, 8am.
The evaluation lasted for 2 hours because the clinician always consults with their instructor, who is a licensed dentist, every step of the way. They are very closely monitored. It’s okay though. I’d rather spend a long time in the clinic knowing that my teeth are being handled expertly and carefully. I’ve had several traumatic incidences in private clinics where several unnecessary and costly procedures were done. 🙁
So I went back on June 20, 8am for my appointment with another clinician for teeth cleaning. There was a fire drill that morning so the session was cut in the middle. Haha! We went back to the clinic after the drill and my teeth were again thoroughly evaluated by the clinician. She diagnosed that I have gingivitis. I was really surprised because I was never informed of that by my previous dentists. 🙁 It seems like it was mild to moderate already. Yikes. 🙁 But this is a good thing, I’m going to be more obsessive about cleaning my teeth. Haha!
Anyway, I was not able to have my teeth cleaned that morning because there was no water supply. And since my case was more advanced, I was referred to a more advanced clinician as well and I was scheduled for another appointment in the afternoon.
During the break, I went to the nearby mall and bought toothpaste and mouthwash specially formulated for those with gum problems. I also bought dental floss. Admittedly, I do not floss. It’s because when I tried before, my tooth filling got loosened. And I was scared of going to the dentist again knowing that I have to shell out more money… so I just stopped. I know it’s bad… but that’s the reality.
Anyway, I went back after lunch and the clinician evaluated my teeth again. It seems that every clinician needs to fill up their own charts on their patients. So it takes a while because some questions are repeatedly being asked. I guess they just have to be really thorough and get information from the patients themselves. 🙂 She then assessed the degree / severity of inflammation of gums. She filled up another chart which will serve as a baseline to see improvement or healing after cleaning. The faculty checked the chart and upon approval and then, it was time to start cleaning my teeth. I wasn’t as thrilled as I was earlier because there were already a lot of blood from the probing of my gums with a periodontal probe to check the health of my gums. Again, it was okay because I felt as if my teeth were being thoroughly checked for the first time.
From time to time, their instructor checked my teeth to see if there were any tartar (hardened dental plaque) left. And then the instructor told the clinician where she found them. So the clinician then went back to scaling and polishing.
The cleaning lasted for 3 hours. Even the hard-to-remove, deep-seated dirt were removed! I actually felt my teeth were so much smoother and cleaner!
For all her hard work and the hours she put in, I was only asked to pay 45 pesos. Cleaning usually costs 300 to 800 outside. The payment is probably just for the materials used. I was then informed that I need to go back a week after for another checkup. I left the clinic with a smile on my face. 🙂
I need to go back after 7 days to wait for the inflammation to resolve and for them to check my teeth again. This is called “2nd sitting”. After another week, I will have to visit again, known as “recall”. It will involve charting and comparing with previous chart. There should be marked improvement in the health status of the gums. Of course, I will have to practice good oral hygiene on my own to continue having healthy teeth and gums. 🙂
All the clinicians and even the instructors I met were so nice and friendly. I have always been scared of visiting dentists… but now, I have no reason to. They are just so welcoming. Plus, the clinicians are very careful and thorough with every evaluation and procedure done. They are constantly being checked by their instructors. The materials used are also of high quality. And their services are really so affordable. Imagine, impacted wisdom tooth extraction is only 300 plus 270 for panoramic x-ray. I had one of mine removed last year for almost 2000 pesos.
I highly recommend going to UPCD if you have the time and if it’s accessible for you. And I also advise that you schedule an appointment before going there just to make sure that a clinician will be available for you. Walk-ins are allowed and the queue is not that long.
University of the Philippines Manila College of Dentistry
Address: Pedro Gil Street corner Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila
Clinic days: Weekdays except Wednesday
Clinic hours: 8am-5pm (cut off: 9:30am, 2:30pm)
For appointments, contact Ms. Angel Aquitania at 09286148974 or at 09266656624.
Click here for their services and corresponding rates.
For those who are interested in having braces, the initial payment is 7,000 pesos. But if there is no wire available in the college, the initial would be 10,000 pesos. The succeeding monthly payments would be 600 pesos. You will be given a form with the estimate of the overall cost for the duration of the treatment. Usually costs 21,000 pesos only.
The braces are done at the Orthodontic Clinic located along Padre Faura Street in front of Padre Faura wing of Robinsons Place Manila. Clinic is open from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Whew! I know that was a long entry and I congratulate you for reading until the end. That’s all for now. 🙂
xoxo,
♥ Monique ♥
 
 

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