✦ We all know how important it is to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene and oral health is one of the key components of this.
It is imperative to keep your pearly whites in check and that’s why we decided to check in with Dr Raj Mohan Singh (BDS) of Ocean Dental Surgery in Port Macquarie to get the best tips on maintaining a smile bright enough to light up any room!
One of the most critical aspects of choosing the right dentist isn’t just how proficient he or she is but how trustworthy they are and how they make you as a patient feel. Most people don’t exactly place a visit to the dentists towards the top of their list of most desirable activities and it is therefore hugely important that you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible when undertaking your regular visits to the dental surgery. Get this component right and visiting the dentist soon becomes much more of a pleasurable experience than a chore.
On meeting Dr Raj, one instantly feels at ease. It goes without saying that one would expect a healthy, warm smile from a dentist and this is exactly how we are met when we visit him in person at his Ocean Dental Surgery practice. Adding to the relaxed vibe are the cool and calm environs of the surgery itself, instantly placing one at ease.
Born and raised in India, Raj moved to Australia in 2010 with his wife Monika, also a dentist. Initially working in Melbourne then Ballina on the Gold Coast, Raj moved to Port Macquarie in 2012 where he has been practising for the last decade. He now has three dental practices on the Mid North Coast – in addition to Ocean Dental Surgery there is Lighthouse Beach Dental, Port Macquarie in the Watonga Street shopping centre and South West Rocks Family Dental Surgery at South West Rocks.
The Singh family are now fully settled in the local region that they call home, not only establishing themselves professionally but also raising a family of three children; two daughters aged eight and three respectively, and a four-year-old son. Raj and Monika consider Port Macqurie a great place to raise their family, with access to good schools and a generally safe environment with minimal traffic.
Denist as Artist
When asked why he chose dentistry as a profession, Raj replies: “Initially I was studying to be a doctor in Bangalore in India and there were several different fields open to me such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry. I wouldn’t say it was entirely accidental but I kind of fell towards dentistry naturally. As strange as it may sound initially, I was drawn to dentistry because I was fairly good at art when I was younger. I always enjoyed drawing and creating, which I soon came to learn wasn’t too different to being a dentist in certain respects such as structuring and the design of teeth, dentures and so on. I qualified back in 2005 and haven’t looked back since!”
All of Dr Raj’s local practices offer comprehensive dental services such as standard check ups, cleaning, scaling and polishing to more intricate procedures such as x-rays, fillings, surgical extractions, root canal treatment, crowns, bridges, orthodontics, and denture services, including partial and full dentures. For more complex procedures and apprehensive patients there is also the possibility of IV sedation or nitrous oxide.
Technological advancements are present in every industry and dentistry is no different, something that Dr Raj is fully atuned to. He highlights a high-tech scanning CAD CAM machine as just one example of innovation that is progressing dental treatment. Conducting a comprehensive scan of the mouth, gums and teeth, the machine converts the image into a finely detailed 3D picture which is accurate to more than a million micrometres. This means there is no room for error and the hugely reliable machine technology ensures exact and reliable results everytime.
Conquer your fears!
It doesn’t take long for us to raise the elephant in the room question about denists and fear often being in the same sentence for so many people! Dr Raj greets this with a smile but is quick to explain that he completely understands the point and such widespread apprehension.
“I think often the full ins and outs of dentistry are generally unknown to many people and that, in turn, causes an inherent fear,” he says. “Subsequently, my philosophy and approach is to explain as much as I can in regards to procedures to try and make the patient as comfortable and relaxed as possible. As with many things, once you understand something, you tend to feel much more at ease and are willing to accept it. I guess it comes down to clear and thorough communication.”
He is quick to add that he and his staff ensure the entire process of a patient visiting the dentist need not be a daunting prospect and that by even making the appointment the patient has taken a huge, positive step forward. “That’s half the problem solved,” Dr Raj says.
Friendly, qualified reception staff then ensure each patient is greeted and made to feel at ease when visiting the practice. For particularly apprehensive patients this is when special attention is paid and when the importance of clear communication methods come to the fore. Talking about and pinpointing any form of fear and then finding an appropriate solution is the modus operandi for Dr Raj and his staff.
Similarly when dealing with younger patients. “It’s very much a case-by-case basis when dealing with c