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.
National University of Singapore’s dentistry faculty is slated to have a new building in 2019. This is mind boggling as the current building was absolutely brand new in 2010!! Now, we, the faculty are marching towards the next side of the campus and another new start.
I remember visiting NUS dental school for the first time in 1988. Back then, the faculty building was less than 3 years old. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, dental schools and their physical building may stay at the same location for decades (that is called ‘tradition’)!
During the ground breaking ceremony, NUS announced that they would expand in the teaching of Gerodontology, an area of dentistry among/for older folks. This is a smart move as it meets the needs of Singapore’s ageing population. In my specialty of Prosthodontics, we deal with the older population most of the time too as they need implants and teeth replacement. We pride ourselves in making life-like, functional and aesthetically pleasing teeth.
Another area within the Prosthodontic specialty is cosmetic dentistry. It is commonly practised among general dentists as well.
People view cosmetic dentistry and cosmetic medicines in a similar category: beauty enhancement in healthy people. However, they are of totally different natures! Put it this way, as far as I know, no reasonable person would expect a person to get:
- smell improvement after a nose job,
- sight enhancement after a double eyelid surgery,
- better mothering after a breast enhancement procedure… well, you get the idea.
On the contrary, regardless of the nature of teeth procedures (be it cosmetically related or not), everyone expects to eat better after a dental treatment! Do you know that on average, normal human beings can produce bite forces that are approximately identical to their body weight? In other words, our teeth are subjected to high functional forces regardless of whether they are man-made or God-given!
IMHO, cosmetic dentistry is a very demanding clinical area that requires more depth than what our eyes can meet.
(Answer: Third tooth from the left, did you guess correctly?)
Dr Ansgar Cheng is a Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics with Specialist Dental Group®, Singapore. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the National University of Singapore, an Examiner (Prosthodontics) with the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Hong Kong. Dr Cheng has a special interest in dental implants, crowns and the dental treatment of medically compromised patients.