Singapore, 9 December 2021 - Clinician dentist researching digital technology to make dentures has won the Clinician Scientist Award.

As we age, it is inevitable to lose teeth due to aging. A local clinical dentist and scientific researcher pointed out that the demand for dentures in Singapore will increase in the future, she embarked on a research of digital dental technology to help improve the efficiency of denture production. The three-year research has allowed Assistant Professor Yu Na (aged 37 years old), Director, Medical Technology at the National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS), to obtain a grant from the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) - Clinician Scientist Award (CSA). She is also the first dental clinician to receive this award.

Assistant Professor Yu Na pointed out that the demand for dentures in Singapore's ageing society will continue to grow over the next 10 to 20 years. In order to meet future needs, she has conducted a research on the technology of digital dentistry, in attempt to apply it in the process of denture production. The use of a clinically integrated smart digital workflow will shorten the time-consuming process and also help dentists make judgements faster.

Assistant Professor Yu Na pointed out that she has tried out the dentures produced by digital technology on dozens of volunteers by providing them with a pair of handmade dentures and a pair made by digital technology for comparison. According to the feedback, the experience of using the two types of dentures were similar. This volunteer could not tell which set of dentures were made by hand, and which was made by digital technology. "Preliminary research shows that the digitally printed dentures are similar to those in the traditional sense. The effect and accuracy of handmade are similar. If we can have more precise control on the intelligent processing, it is likely to surpass traditional dentures in the future," said Assistant Professor Yu Na.

In addition, Assistant Professor Yu Na also mentioned that she is grateful for the encouragement and support she has received, "I have received a lot of support in NDCS and SingHealth. I feel that I am fortunate to accept the help of many, and finally achieve our goal." 

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