Chief Dental Officer Dr Chng Chai Kiat (third from right) tours the exhibition to have sight of the latest technology available in dentistry

Dentistry plays a key role in the nation’s healthcare transformation – Chief Dental Officer Dr Chng Chai Kiat

“Caring for the nation has become a top priority for the government,” said Singapore’s Chief Dental Officer Dr Chng Chai Kiat in his opening speech at the 4th Asian Symposium on Advanced General Dentistry on 19 July at Marina Bay Sands.

“The ageing population has brought forth new challenges in the way we manage healthcare,” said Dr Chng, adding that it’s necessary to utilise resources available instead of simply building more hospitals or training more healthcare professionals.

It is no longer enough to build more hospitals or train more healthcare professionals but it is to now see how best we utilise the resources available.”

Caring for the nation is a top priority for both the Government and the College of General Dental Practitioners (CGDP). This was relayed to attendees at the 4th which opened on 19 July at the Marina Bay Sands.

The biennial symposium, organised by the College of General Dental Practitioners (CGDP) features a list of regional and international speakers who will cover a wide range of topics from tooth restorations to soft tissue management and the use of cutting-edge 3D technology in the practice of dentistry today.

In his speech, Dr Chng said: “To address our short to medium term challenges, we have to look at accessibility and for the people to receive healthcare as we need it. We will need to deliver quality and to prepare our healthcare services to be efficient. Affordability must be considered and people must be able to afford these services.”

This shift towards care transformation will be guided by three pillars said Dr Chng, called the ‘3 Beyonds’: Beyond Healthcare to Health, Beyond Hospital to Community, and Beyond Quality to Value.

President of CGDP, Dr TC Phua, added that continued education among dentists will continue to play a vital role in the future of the profession, in line with the Government’s objective of providing efficient, quality and affordable healthcare for Singaporeans and the general public.

He elaborated, “Our priority at the CGDP has always been about continued education for the dental fraternity, and in providing them with the know-how and knowledge of what’s considered cutting edge. This will help them serve the public better and always ensure that we have the interests of the general public in mind. This is in sync with the Government’s objective of ensuring that we do our part of healthcare professionals to provide care for people.”

The 4th Asian Symposium on Advanced General Dentistry is happening this weekend at Marina Bay Sands from 19 to 21 July and will feature global speakers like Dr Didier Dietschi from Switzerland and Professor Giovanni Zuchelli from Italy.

Regional and local speakers Dr Simon Ng, Dr Sonny Burias, Dr Atsuo Uematsu, Dr Anthony Tay and Dr Ryuhei Yamanaka will also be making presentations during the symposium which is being attended by about 500 dental professionals from Singapore and around the region.

Added Dr Phua, “We are particularly proud that this fourth edition of our College endeavour in clinical dentistry continuing dental education serves as our 20th anniversary celebration of the founding of our College. The College has been in the forefront of advancing continuing dental education particularly to our general dental practitioner members locally as well as foreign colleagues.”