Specialist Dental Group has launched an on-going series of blog posts by our individual dental specialists. All views provided are the dentist’s own opinions and are posted on this blog as part of our on-going efforts to educate the public about dental issues and other matters of interest relating to dentistry and healthcare.
In October, I made what I considered a long and arduous journey to Las Vegas to attend the Annual Session of the American College of Prosthdontists (ACP).
The last time I attended the ACP meeting was 10 years ago when I passed the American Board of Prosthodontics Examination. The reason I attended this meeting after a long hiatus was because Emeritus Professor Lee Jameson was elected President of ACP. Lee Jameson was once Graduate Prosthodontics director at my alma mater, Northwestern University Dental School. He subsequently went on to be Chair of the Restorative Department and then Dean of the Dental School. As former students, we were there to support an excellent clinician and teacher who had dedicated more than 30 years of his life to dental education.
It was good to catch up with fellow dentists whom had gone through the same Graduate Prosthodontics program as there was a certain sense of camaraderie since Prosthodontics program was well-known to be demanding on time, clinical skill and laboratory expertise. We recalled the many hours spent in the dental laboratory trying to perfect every crown and bridge. While other students were having fun, my Friday nights were spent in the dental laboratory until the wee hours.
Also present at the meeting was my Program Director Emeritus Professor John Chai. When we were students, John was a critical teacher who pushed us hard. It reminded me of a Chinese saying 养不教，父之过。教不严，师之惰。Loosely translated in English, this Chinese saying means, “When a child lacks of filial piety, it is due to the parents’ lack of upbringing. When a student lacks of discipline, it is due to the teachers’ lack of teachings.”
Because of Professor Chai’s high standard for our academic, research and clinical work, we were pushed to always do better. Looking back, we had all benefitted tremendously. The training had made us excellent clinicians. And although we do not perform all the laboratory stages now, we understand the laboratory process and are better able to communicate with the dental technicians. This has directly contributed to better patient care.
Looking at the tremendous influence that prosthodontics training has made to our everyday clinical practice, perhaps taking time to fly a few thousand miles to go back to my roots may not be too high a price to pay, to show our appreciation to teachers who have made a difference to our lives.
Dr. Neo Tee Khin is a Prosthodontist with Specialist Dental Group®. Dr Neo is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the National University of Singapore. He has over 10 years experience teaching in dental schools and sits on the Committee for Prosthodontics of the Division of Graduate Dental Studies of the National University of Singapore. Dr. Neo has given presentations and courses on implant dentistry and restorative dentistry at professional conferences in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Mongolia. For more information about Dr. Neo, click here.