What made you decide to get into dentistry as a career?
As a student, I was always good at science subjects. I knew I wanted to help people somehow and I was also good with my hands, so dentistry seemed an obvious choice.
How long have you been practising dentistry?
I graduated from the University of Otago in 2000 and have been practising in New Zealand ever since.
What is your most memorable case to date?
There have been so many memorable patients through the last 20 years. But the one that stands out is a lovely lady who first came to me in tears because of her fear of dentists. It was the first time a patient had ever come to me crying. After getting to know her a bit, she was able to open up about her past bad experiences. We worked through this together and eventually, I was able to gain enough trust to the point where I could work on her teeth. With each subsequent appointment, she overcame her anxiety a little more. By the end of her treatment, it was clear that I had made an impact in her fear of dentistry and restored her confidence in dentists. Being able to affect someone’s life like that is beyond rewarding. She went on to bring her whole family to see me.
What do you love most about your job?
Being able to solve dental problems. Everyone comes to the dentist with a unique set of problems, and I never know what I’ll find in every mouth. Being able to diagnose and treat each problem is what I love most.
What are your special interests in dentistry?
I enjoy all aspects of general dentistry, but my special interests are in root canal treatments and crowns.
What is the main piece of advice you give your patients?
Most dental problems are preventable so my main piece of advice is that prevention of dental problems is far better than the treatment of them. That means brushing and flossing, watching sugar in the diet and regular checkups.
Where would we find you outside of the practice?
Probably at the gym to work off my food obsession. I love eating and experiencing the cuisine of different cultures. I’ve been lucky enough to do a bit of travelling and, in doing so, have developed a taste for new and exciting flavours. I’ll try almost anything once.
You can book an appointment with Dr Chin Tay here.