The National Dental Centre Singapore will undergo a renovation costing more than $4 million later this year to better meet the needs of frail and elderly patients.
Located beside the Singapore General Hospital in Outram, it will house a new specialist clinic for aged and disabled patients due to open next year. The clinic will boast a team of multi-disciplinary dentists, X-ray facilities and an operating theatre.
The centre will remain open during the renovation, which will see ramps and wider doorways added to better accommodate patients in beds or those with mobility problems. Besides treating patients, Singapore's biggest dental facility offers research and training programmes for dentists.
Announcing the revamp yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the upgrade and the upcoming Centre for Oral Health at the National University Hospital are part of his ministry's plans to ensure that the dental health of the Republic's ageing population is well taken care of.
The Centre for Oral Health is due to open by August 2017, and will offer services such as geriatric and preventive care dentistry.
Mr Gan was speaking at the opening of the three-day International Dental Exhibition and Meeting at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. The biennial trade fair is expected to attract 8,000 visitors.
Mr Gan said he was heartened that Singapore's dental professionals have remained informed about new technology and developments in the industry.
He told them to show patients "care and compassion, dignity and respect while ensuring cost efficiency", adding: "You must always have the best interests of your patients in mind."
Dr Kelvin Chye, vice-president of the Singapore Dental Association, said: "Elderly patients, especially, may not have been taught how to care for their teeth. So dentists must be patient and communicate with them. These are skills which dentists take time to learn."
This article was published on April 5 in The Straits Times.
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