The country’s dental industry looks promising compared to the last decade, and this is evident with the rise of giant dental clinics and the emergence of small ones all over the country—whether in urban or rural areas—you can be assured that you can find at least one dentist even in far-flung areas.
The field of dental care is rapidly changing and evolving, from the basic tooth extraction, the industry now offers a wide range of services that we thought were impossible before—dentures, braces, implants, prosthetics and cosmetic dentistry.
New technologies and innovations are also progressing, which has a big impact on the practice of clinicians and dental laboratory technicians. These latest advancements resulted to stronger and quality materials, and more reliable and efficient services. The dentists’ skills, together with the new breakthroughs, have made the process faster and easier.
And Filipino dentists are now keen on advancing their field of studies and specialization to keep up with competition, and Dr. Maureen Nacu Castillo, who has been practicing her profession since 2000, can attest to the growth of the industry.
Castillo got her Dental Medicine degree at the University of the East in 2000. Knowing best thing to do after getting her license was to immediately practice her profession.
“My parents gave me P4,000 to buy a new dress for my oath-taking, but instead of buying I saved the money and used it as my start-up capital,” Castillo recalls.
But what can you really do with that very minimal amount?
“One of my professors before was renting out his clinic, like time sharing. So I used the money for the rent. And while I don’t have my own clinic yet, I saved my income to buy the different tools I need should I decide to put up my own clinic.”
With her perseverance and aspirations to be one of the best dentists in the country, Castillo was able to establish her own dental clinic in Banawe Street, Quezon City in no time. From the first day she called herself a dentist, Castillo didn’t stop in enriching her knowledge and skills to render the best and quality service to her patients.
“I took up different specialization courses—orthodontics, prosthetics and cosmetic. I read books and acquired state-of-the-art dental equipment to assure my patients that I have the skills, the know-how and the latest technology for better, efficient, and quality service and output,” Castillo narrates.
Castillo describes her practice like a “one-stop shop” where every dental care you need can be found, she, however explains that she only provides the best dental care and treatments that are really needed by her patients. “I only do what should be done, I don’t convince my client to undergo a treatment just to earn more. I assure my patients that when they come to my clinic they will get the best care they deserve, even if it means serving just one or two clients a day. I really spend time with my patients to attend to their dental health.”
Like the other dentists who know the bright future of the industry in the country, she also shares some of the downside of the growing industry.
“It is a fact that there are many Filipino dentists now and competition is very tight. Competition is good because it challenges the dentists to be better in their practice, but the sad part is, there are dentists who lower their prices, thus putting their patients to the losing end. Why? Because you cannot render quality service and products with the low amount they are offering,” she explains.
She says one of her patients who came to her and asked her if she can “rescue” her teeth, “after our short talk, I came to know that she went to an ‘affordable’ dentist but in just a short time, everything got worse.”
She also shares her experiences with her patients who had veneers at affordable prices. “We all want beautiful teeth and some patients fall prey to some dentists who just want to earn money without thinking of the dental condition of the patients. I have this patient who thought she had real veneers. She actually had veneers but the temporary veneers that dentist put before putting on the permanent ones. This is one of the sad thing that is happening in the industry.”
Castillo is well respected in the industry especially in her specializations—dental implants, prosthetics and cosmetic.
She said the dental industry is a growing economy, especially now that the Filipinos are taking care of their dental hygiene and overall dental health. Patients, clinicians, dental laboratories and other players in the industry have already seen the robust change in the industry, and for Castillo everyone who is concerned of his/her dental health must be wise and wary in choosing his/herdentist, “Choose a clinic or a dentist whom you can trust and will give you the kind of service you deserve. Your teeth is as precious as the other important organs of your body.”
Castillo believes that the dental industry will continue to evolve in the next couple of decades and if Filipino dentists can’t cope with the changes, it might cause unproductivity for them, considering the upsurge of giant dental-clinic companies.
And to make sure Castillo is updated with the trends in the industry, she is set to fly to the United States in May 2016 to further her education in Cosmetic Dentistry at the UCLA.
Dr. Maureen Nacu Castillo’s Ortho-Dental Clinic is at Unit 4C Antonia Mansion, 690 Banawe Street, Quezon City. You can email her at [email protected]