With an innate love for smiles and the local communities, Dr. Ralph Figaroa Delas Alas (Dr. RFD) shares his dream for the Filipino people to reach optimal oral health
In an archipelagic country, people living in far-flung rural communities may find it difficult to access safe and reliable dental care services. As it requires resources, most of those who need these services let their teeth decay on their own, eventually leading to more oral problems and infections.
One of the best and most convenient ways to reach them is to visit and give them the proper dental care they deserve. Altruism, kindness, and caring for the vulnerable make people unique and connected. Having an affinity for someone else means being human in a society with shared cultures and beliefs.
For the doctor of smiles, dental missions do not feel like an obligation nor a responsibility but are a genuine movement already inherent in him. As a nurse, biologist, and dentist, Dr. Ralph Figaroa Delas Alas (Dr. RFD) has always known what it means to have the knowledge and skills in his expertise.
Dr. RFD hopes to go the extra mile in providing high standards and proper protocols for anyone who needs it. As someone who loves his community and nation, he knows the Filipino culture and spirit of communal unity and cooperation is alive.
As Distinctive As A Smile
When asked about why smiles are important in an exclusive interview with Lifestyle Asia, Dr. RFD said, “A smile defines the character of a person.”
He does not simply work on smiles, but looks beyond what a smile can do for a person from within. With this thought in mind, he wishes to give everyone a distinctive smile that they can identify with, no matter where they came from, but most especially those who have not had the same opportunities as others.
Project Share A Smile began in 2013, and in the past few years, Dr. RFD has been to more than 30 provinces, including places as far as Sultan Kudarat, General Santos City, and Iloilo City. His recent dental mission was in Laguna last October 19, which catered to around 150 patients. Aiming to get more smiles from the residents, Dr. RFD partnered and collaborated with the local government unit, barangay health workers, and volunteers from the Department of Health for a dental mission.
The solidarity between people who keep and plan their missions by heart makes everything possible. And with big waves of support from the right people, they could provide dental cleaning, fluoride treatment, and extraction. The passing of kindness and compassion from one helping hand to another makes a big difference. And for Dr. RFD, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone smile to their fullest.
Beyond the Lines
Dr. RFD’s life work does not stop there. When the pandemic presented an unprecedented challenge to public health, everyone felt fear, anxiety, and even paranoia. The imposition of lockdowns and strict health protocols left most people to their own devices.
With limited food supply, closure of businesses, and an increase in the unemployment rate, the pandemic has significantly affected households worldwide. But this is the primary battle of the health professionals, and Dr. RFD is not one to back out from a global health crisis that demands alarming attention.
Imbibing the goal of the Philippine Dental Association, he hopes to be a part of a stronger and globally competitive Philippine dentistry with a solid foundation of service rendered. This passion means courage and determination despite the public health threat, which is why he committed to free online consultations in November 2020.
He also did Facebook live for dental health education to still connect with people wherever they may be.
“I was giving free dental consultations since we can’t go out of our houses for several months during the pandemic,” he said. “I was using Urban Smile Dental Clinic’s Facebook account to answer the inquiries of Filipinos here and abroad.”
His firm conviction through action is a gentle reminder that nobody is alone in this fight.
Making It Count
Dr. RFD counts all the good things in life by offering services that cater to most of your dental needs and desires. As a cosmetic dentist, he can give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of.
He offers dental crowns and veneers with the most premium zirconia, ceramic, and porcelain. Flashing the perfect smile can take little time with their clear aligners, a system wherein the teeth will be aligned using a clear, transparent material without needing to visit the clinic every month. He’ll give you an upper and lower set of clear material, and you’ll have to wear it 18-22 hours a day for 10 days. After 10 days, you’ll discard it and use another set.
If you were born with gum problems, he has the laser gum contouring procedure to reshape your gums. For complete mouth reconstruction, full mouth rehabilitation brings back its beauty, health, and function.
Working with different sets of teeth means providing the right experts, and Dr. RFD has nothing but high regard for his senior implantologist who works on dental implants. While he can’t do everything, Urban Smile Dental Clinic has dentists with various specializations to serve their patrons better.