Riding in Tandem – A Quarterly General Meeting that Turned into a Congress

Co-written by Dr. Noel Vallesteros,  ( PPDSI)  and Dr. Marybeth Gabriel (APO)

The Association of Philippine Orthodontists and the Philippine Pediatric Dental Society Inc. held its monumental joint seminar last November 29, 2017. It was a most fitting year end 4th general meeting for both societies which felt more like a Biennial Congress with over 320 delegates flocking to the Marco Polo Hotel in Pasig City. This was after all the first time 2 distinguished specialty groups joined forces to give everyone what they always wanted : an ortho- pedo symposium.

Headed by APO President Dr. Martin Antonio Reyes and PPDSI President Dr. Fina Marilag Lopez, it was a day everybody was looking forward to with 4 distinguished lecturers sharing their knowledge on their respective fields of expertise. Adding to a the congress-like atmosphere was a whopping roster of 23 dental and non-dental traders who reserved their slots months in advance to be part of this auspicious event. This was truly a grand event as the ball room was filled to maximum capacity.

The conference started a wee bit late after the Opening Prayer but things to picked up right after Drs. Fina and Martin gave their short but meaningful welcome remarks. The very capable hosts Drs. Paul Abaya ( PPDSI) and Melissa Concio Arguelles ( APO) then proceeded to introduce the very first lecturer, Dr. Lucia Valderrama.

Lights, Camera … Dr. Valderrama

What a fantastic lecture this was! Dr. V simply left the audience in awe with her cases which incorporated surgeries of impacted/ supernumerary teeth and pathologies together with Orthodontic cases. She explained that digital radiography was a very important tool for all of us if we wanted to be the best in our practice pf pediatric dentistry, orthodontics and oral surgery. The limitations of analogue films are now a thing of the past and it is our responsibility to update ourselves on how to read and interpret these images. The one hour given to Dr. Valderrama seemed too short for her lecture as it was very impressive and educational from start to finish. One insight that she gave to the audience was to select cases very carefully especially those which may need extraction rather than orthodontic traction. Age and position of the tooth were critical factors in making this decision.

The surprise of the day was a short awarding ceremony where plaques of appreciation and tokens of friendship were exchanged between APO and PPDSI. Drs. Martin and Fina received the awards on behalf of their respective societies.

Orthodontics with Dr. Ethel

Dr. Ethel Escultura, the next lecturer, spoke on the different kinds of goals we should set for our patients who undergo Early Orthodontic Treatment.  These may include but are not limited to functional appliances, trainers and the like. Guidelines and protocol to follow when diagnosing and treating growing patients and adults were presented much to the delight of the crowd.
Pre and post treatment pictures of clinical cases highlighted the evidence based lecture. The audience couldn’t help but take notes as Dr. Ethel shared the recipe for successful treatment.

A 3-minute AVP tribute to APO and PPDSI served as a fitting appetizer to the much anticipated remaining lecture of the morning session.

Silence Please… Dr. Reynolds is in the house

World renowned speaker and expert Dr. Eric Reynolds spoke about the prevention of plaque dysbiosis and white spot lesions around the orthodontic brackets. Very timely indeed as we are all geared towards the maintenance of good oral health during this time as our patients undergo their orthodontic treatment.

Many of our colleagues requested that we summarize Dr. Reynold’s lecture in this article. Essentially , frequent exposure of dental plaque dietary fermentable carbohydrates leads to a dysbiotic plaque where cariogenic species emerge and commensal beneficial species decline. This dysbiosis results in an acidic plaque which causes deminaralisation of the enamel resulting in white spot lesion (WSL) formation. High concentrations of fluoride are recommended to prevent WSL formation but high F levels can sometime seal the surface of the WSL leading to a poorly arrested white spot which can cause a poor aesthetic outcome and patient dissatisfaction . Furthermore, a poorly arrested defect can progress to a deeper lesion requiring restoration under further acid challenge. High levels of F are calcium limited resulting in surface level reminiralisation only , even in patients with normal salivary flow and quality.

However, a new technology of saliva biomimetic which delivers bioavailable calcium, phosphate and fluoride ions in the correct stoichiometric ratio allows deep reminiralisation and reversal of WSLs to translucency with high incorporation of F into fluorapatite deep into the lesion. This technology is called casein phosphopeptide – amorphous calcium fluoride phosphate (CPP-ACFP).

Recent clinical trials have shown that WSLs can be completely prevented by using a combination of dental varnish and dental crème containing CPP-ACFP. The evidence for its role in the promotion of prebiosis , the return of commensal bacteria in plaque , to restore homeostasis and oral health to not only help prevent caries development but also periodontal disease.

All aboard with Captain Dr. Ian Ermita

Afternoon speaker and workshop coordinator Dr. Christian Anthony Ermita talked about the intricacies of navigating through CBCT Images.  He gave a CBCT Imaging Workshop which was complete with a USB for delegates, to help them understand the basics of diagnosing patients with the CBCT.  Delegates were thrilled with the 2 hour workshop where they would be given the opportunity to try out the software on their very own personal computers. APO and PPDSI are very grateful to the UP undergrad students who served as facilitators for this grand workshop.


The very successful joint conference ended with over 320 delegates taking home valuable gifts of knowledge and insights that they received from the 4 distinguished speakers. Fond memories of the appetizing food given by Marco Polo Hotel along with the warm feeling of love and joy shared by long lost friends and colleagues in the dental profession served as the irreplaceable souvenirs of this first ever joint session.



But the evening did not end there for APO and PPDSI members as there was a Christmas party waiting for them right after at the Vu’s Rooftop Bar on the penthouse of the hotel. Exciting games, numerous raffle prizes, a lively band giving off music that made the delegates stand up and dance. APO lost to PPDSI in most of the games this year which can only lead to a friendly challenge to PPDSI in 2018.


It was an extraordinary Christmas party that capped off a very fruitful day for APO and PPDSI. The gift of learning coupled with the happiness of Christmas spent with dear friends and colleagues will surely be one for the history books, one that will definitely be repeated for years to come.