Ask the Dentist: What’s It Like Being A Female In the World of Dentistry?
As the International Women’s Day on 8th March draws near, we speak to Dr. SK Boey on what it’s like to be a female in the world of dentistry and some of the misconceptions that come along with it.
Let’s start from the beginning. Why dentistry?
I have always wanted to be a doctor but found death too depressing. So I have decided very early on that dentistry gets me being a doctor earlier, more focused specialising in teeth and bringing smiles to people’s faces. I put dentistry as my one and only choice on my university application.
Are female dentists any different from male dentists?
I wouldn’t generalise or demarcate one’s professional differences by gender. Some patients have a certain mindset that older male dentists are more experienced or that female dentists are more gentle. Which is a fallacy really. It boils down to the individual dentist and personal preference.
Patients go to you for…
Cosmetic dentistry. And painless dentist visits.
I take special interest in cosmetic dentistry – which encompasses Invisalign, aesthetic dental treatment and dental surgeries. Majority of my long procedures and surgeries are done under IV sedation, which is the most comfortable thing a patient can opt for. I believe in giving my patients a pleasant dental experience.
Care to share more about your job?
As a dental surgeon, patients are my priority and I believe in providing holistic dental care. I double up as the Operations Director at i.Dental, working with the management team on the overall running of our clinics.
That’s impressive! What makes a great dentist?
Having skilled hands and empathy makes a good dentist! When it comes to being a great dentist, I believe it boils down to your personality, to act in patient’s best interest and have respect for the people whom you work with. Being appreciative and a little thank you goes a long way.
Hardest question from a patient?
A patient who had the textbook perfect natural teeth came in requesting for veneers for her two front teeth, just because her 5-year-old said that it had the teeniest little chip and looked “funny”. We convinced her that veneers would have been an overkill and reassured her that she has got a great smile. We end up contouring her front teeth instead and she seemed happy with the results.
What makes your day?
A good day would start off with a job well done at work and helping patients to overcome their dental fears or problems, and ends with me coming home happy and spending quality time with my family.
Define female empowerment.
Many women since the history of time have stood up to speak for others without a voice. This inspires me and I try to make positive changes and to stand up for what is right. I also keep myself active in community work as a way of giving back.
Dr. Boey Sean Kuan, who goes by Dr. SK by most, is the consultant dental surgeon of i.Dental with over 10 years of clinical operations. On top of being an accredited Invisalign provider, she is also a certified operator with a special interest in Laser Dentistry. Dr. SK graduated from the University of Adelaide, Australia with a double degree, obtaining both Bachelor of Dental Surgery and 1st class Honours in the Bachelor of Science in Dentistry program.
If you’d like to speak with Dr. SK on how to best improve your smile, request for a consultation today!