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UP Ortho @35: "35 Years of Excellence…Celebrating the Past, Transforming the Future”

The Graduate Program in Orthodontics celebrated it’s 35th anniversary on April 5, 2024 at the College of Dentistry UP Manila. Since the “UP Ortho” opened its doors to the first batch of Graduate students in 1989, it has produced over a hundred local and foreign Orthodontic practitioners who are leaders in the profession taking on various positions in the academe, professional and civic organizations and even the military.

The highlight of the celebration was a scientific seminar and homecoming with the theme "35 Years of Excellence…Celebrating the Past, Transforming the Future” in collaboration with the Faculty of Dentistry Universiti Malaya. This is the second time UPCD ties up with Faculty of Dentistry Universiti Malaya after the recently concluded “Global Trends in Dental Practice” joint symposium held during the 109th foundation anniversary of UPCD last Feb. 7, 2024.

The scientific seminar was set in a hybrid mode (via Zoom). Joining online were the Director of the National Graduate Office for the Health Sciences, Director Carl Abelardo T. Antonio; former Chair of the Graduate Program in Orthodontics, Dr, Sandra Hernandez; former UP Ortho faculty, Dr. Marilyn Leung; Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry Universiti Malaya, Dean Professor Zamri Radzi together with the faculty and speakers from the Paediatric and Orthodontic Department, headed by Assoc.Prof. Dr. Mang Chek Wey; and our two speakers from Nepal who are also alumni of UP Ortho. Almost ninety participants registered to attend the in-person event, majority of whom were alumni of UP Ortho and other dental practitioners and Graduate Orthodontic students from UP Ortho and other dental colleges.

The event graced by the Deans from the two institutions, Dean and Professor Dr. Michelle S. Segarra  from UPCD and, Dean Professor Dr. Zamri Radzi from Faculty of Dentistry UM who gave their welcome remarks.

Dr. Leonor C. Lago, former UP Manila University Registrar, UPCD Dean and Chair of the Graduate Program in Orthodontics and a beloved “mother” to so many of her former undergraduate and graduate students, delivered an inspirational message.

A total of seven well respected orthodontic practitioners  – 3 from the Paediatric and Orthodontic Department Faculty of Dentistry University Malaya and four graduates of the UP Ortho Program showcased their  knowledge and expertise in Orthodontics.

From UM, Prof. Dr. Siti Adibah Othman discussed “Challenges in Treating Class II Division 2 Malocclusions” in which she shared auxiliary appliances she uses in treating such cases. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Saritha Sivarajan focused on “Skeletal and Dental Limitations in Class III Correction : An Evidence-Based Approach” providing current scientific material that has an impact on diagnosis and treatment planning for Class III malocclusions. 

The often overlooked topic of orthodontic retention was the target of Dr. Norhidayah@ Nor zahidah Binti Mohd Tahir’s lecture on “Guarding the Perfect Smile : The Role of Retention in Orthodontics”. Here she stressed the essential role that patient acceptance and compliance plays in the success of retention of orthodontic treatment outcomes.

As for the distinguished graduates of the UP Ortho Program, Dr. Bikash Veer Shrestha zeroed in on the controversial subject of “Management of Skeletal Class III Malocclusions : growth modification therapy, a dilemma” shedding light on difficult treatment decisions for Class III growing patients. Oftentimes, a collaborative team effort is essential in the proper diagnosis and successful execution of an orthodontic treatment plan which Dr. Rabindra Man Shrestha dissected in his talk on “Interdisciplinary Orthodontics : the bond beyond the braces”. 

One of the local champions of cleft lip and palate care, Dr. Cecile Amelli T. Cabrera provided an in-depth and comprehensive lecture on “An Introduction to Orthodontic Treatment in Patients with Cleft Lip and Palate from Birth to Adulthood” while current President of the Association of Philippine Orthodontists, Dr. Dennis Lim, appropriately chose to delve into “Orthodontic Choices: How to Choose and Decide” giving practical and useful clinical tips in orthodontic biomechanics.

All the participants took home a bounty of learnings from our seven speakers and maybe, even a few extra pounds from the delicious and ample buffet set up by Dean’s Kitchen and catering services. Numerous lucky participants also went home with raffle prizes donated by our generous traders present at the event.

The UP Ortho alumni in attendance had a chance to reconnect with their alma matter and with their fellow alumni, reminisce about the past and have unli-photo ops at the photo booth/wall. Batch 1998 took everyone on a sentimental trip down memory lane with a nostalgic AVP. 

The overall success of the venture was made possible by the support of the Dean of UPCD, non-Academic staff and Philcare staff, the tireless efforts of UP Ortho Faculty, non-academic staff and Graduate students who gave of their time and talents, the UP Ortho alumni who also pledged donations for the program, and the traders (DDM Infinity Enterprise, PROS-APAC, JD Brilliance, Shan AXL, K-Line, AVM Ortho, Fildent, Denta Cube, Ordent and Katalia Fine Jewelry. Crucial technical support was provided by the staff of IMS UP Manila and Sir Gette Aransazo.  Metrotech provided the LED wall and sound system.