​“Being a dentist has been my aspiration since I was a teenager. It stemmed from my three-year journey as an orthodontic (braces) patient at the National Dental Centre Singapore. I had plenty of opportunities to interact with my dentist during treatment, and was inspired to pursue dentistry as a career. In the words of Marilyn Monroe - “A smile is the best make-up any girl can wear” – the ability to create a nice smile for my patients which, in turn, improves their self-confidence and potentially changing their lives, is my primary motivation for choosing this profession.

My journey as an educator, however, occurred by chance. I was offered the opportunity by my Postgraduate Associate Programme Director, Cl Assoc Prof Mimi Yow and thought to myself, “Why not give back to the programme that I graduated from?”; and so, I became part of the faculty. I can still recall feeling worried that my students would find me inexperienced when I conducted my first clinical teaching session 5 years ago. Yet, my fears were unfounded. I am grateful to my first batch of postgraduate students for imbuing me with confidence, and letting me know that I am doing a good job! 

As a Consultant in the Department of Orthodontics, a typical day at work is spent in the dental operatory attending to new and existing patients requiring braces treatment. On days that I am teaching, I will either be conducting didactic seminars with the post-graduate orthodontic students or supervising them in their clinical work.

With communication being an essential component in the patient-doctor relationship, it is important to impart interpersonal skills such as patient management to my students, and integrate it as part of quality care delivery. I place an emphasis on techniques such as the use of layman terms, providing analogies and communicating in our patient’s mother tongue so that we can better convey their treatment plans.

As part of the innovPlus grant awarded by the Institute for Adult Learning, I am currently working on a software and/or hardware prototype to incorporate technology, more specifically mixed reality, in the teaching of dental procedures. It is exciting as this learning innovation project has the potential to change how we demonstrate such processes in the future!”

- Dr Song Yi Lin
Consultant, Department of Orthodontics, National Dental Centre Singapore