The Pro

Prosthodontist calls the shots

Dr Wong Keng Mun likens his job to that of a movie producer - he brings together the creative cast and crew to make a hit movie, which is the patient's dentition.
Dr Wong Keng Mun likens his job to that of a movie producer - he brings together the creative cast and crew to make a hit movie, which is the patient's dentition.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Q I specialise in prosthodontics because ...

A It is a speciality that can directly affect a person's quality of life.

I have complete control over dental cases from treatment planning to surgery to restoration. And the results are amazing.

Patients can start eating well again after you have replaced their missing teeth with dental implants and prostheses, they look better and feel more confident.

Q If I have to give an analogy for what I do, I would be...

A A movie producer. He is responsible for putting together a creative and talented cast and crew, turning a good story idea into a mega hit film. The movie is the patient's dentition.

The creative cast and crew are the different specialists, dental assistants, technology and dental materials.

The prosthodontist is in full control of the entire process.

Dr Wong Keng Mun likens his job to that of a movie producer - he brings together the creative cast and crew to make a hit movie, which is the patient's dentition.

Q I come across all types of cases from...

A Patients who cannot afford basic dental care, to those who spend in excess of $80,000 for a total full-mouth implant reconstruction. It still saddens me when I come across patients who have such bad dental conditions due to neglect and monetary constraints.

Regular dental care is particularly important for the elderly.

Many of them save money by not visiting a dentist as often as they should. But it would be more expensive if they were to end up in the emergency department with serious problems that could have been prevented with a routine dental check-up.

  • BioBox

  • WONG KENG MUN

    Age: 45

    Occupation: Group founder and managing director, dental specialist in prosthodontics, T32 Dental Group

    He founded the T32 Dental Centre a decade ago. Today , it is a group dental practice with six locations. The main clinic at the Camden Medical Centre has a full-fledged implant centre, in-house laboratory and a dental training academy that offers advanced dental education for dentists. "We must have the passion, accompanied by the gumption, to challenge industry norms, revolutionise the way people view dentistry and, most importantly, deliver the best solutions for our patients," said Dr Wong.

    His wife, Ms Widya Soejanto, 45, is a financial analyst. They have two daughters, aged seven and 12.

Q A typical day for me…

A Starts at 6.30am with a 30-minute workout.

After arriving at my office at 8.30am, I do some administrative work before seeing patients. From 4pm onwards, I might hold office meetings with my managers or executive officers.

When I get home, I usually spend time with my parents, my wife and my two daughters. After they go to bed at 10.30pm, I may do some reading, reply e-mail and make conference calls.

On Wednesdays, I teach dental graduate students at the National University of Singapore.

Q Patients who get my goat are…

A Those who do not value their teeth. It is sad to see people who allow the condition of their teeth to worsen. What's even more appalling is that they don't want to have their problems corrected.

Q The thing that puts a smile on my face is…

A When patients walk out of our clinics happy and satisfied because we have resolved or improved their dental problems.

Q It breaks my heart when…

A Despite our best efforts, our patients' expectations are not met.

Q I wouldn't trade places for the world because…

A I love the dental business and my work. I still have a strong desire to keep growing and improving the existing business.

Q One little known fact about implant dentistry is…

A Most implant procedures are irreversible. Always remember that natural teeth are the most beautiful and never let anyone lead you to believe that implants are better than natural teeth.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2017, with the headline 'Prosthodontist calls the shots'. Print Edition | Subscribe