Featuring An Dental, an avant garde boutique dental space founded by Dr Marlene Teo that emphasizes both function and wellness. “An” is the Hanyu Pinyin form of the mandarin word 安, which means peace and safety- the utmost priority of the team at An Dental.
Dr Marlene’s keen interest in the arts and science led to the novel idea of marrying both eastern healing philosophies and the latest western technologies into one treatment plan.
These plans are designed with insight beyond cosmetic problems and also get to the root cause of the problem. An Dental is the product of Dr Marlene’s vision to revolutionize conventional dental experiences that are often associated with unpleasant emotions.
Want to find out more? Read this exclusive interview with Dr Marlene Teo, winner of the 2020 DXD10 Trusted Reviews Award, to hear her story.
1. What about An Dental excites you?
My lifelong passions merging. I have always been very academic and “science-y” in school and very technique focused. I read scientific journals for fun. 😂
However. there is also an artistic side to me that craves creativity, and a curious side to me that seeks knowledge in the eastern healing arts like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga.
With the opening of An Dental, I am able to merge new evidence from the eastern healing arts together with the latest western technologies and surgical techniques; whilst practising in a space created by our design team that aptly reflects this philosophy. So I’m super excited about our practice.
2. Tell us more about An Dental and what you specialise in?
An Dental is a boutique dental space dedicated to providing dental services in a peaceful, safe and personal environment to everyone who needs both function and healing. An is the Hanyu Pinyin form of the mandarin word 安- It means peace and safety. This name was chosen to represent the ambience of the space. An Dental melds the seemingly separate worlds of eastern healing philosophies and cutting edge western technologies to provide a unique experience for all.
Our mission at An Dental is to provide a holistic dental treatment plan for you. To get to the root of the problem and to heal you in an environment that leaves you empowered and energised after the experience.
I am a Periodontist, (Peri -around) (odonto -tooth) which means I am a dentist that focuses on the areas around the teeth. I specialise in the treatment of gum disease, cosmetic gum procedures, gum recession treatment, and dental implants.
3. Do you have a particular ideology you adhere to at An Dental?
YES! On our feature wall, we inscribed this phrase,
“As Within, So Without”HERMES TRISMEGISTUS
This quote represents An Dental’s philosophy. The meaning is as simple as it is complex. On one level, it conveys that our external beauty is determined by who we are on the inside. There are people who just glow, and these are the people who radiate outer beauty because they are innately happy. Angry, sad people give off such a negative vibe…. they certainly are not attractive in my opinion! Happy and loving people are always the most attractive.
On another level, we also believe that your health is determined by your body chemistry and internal state. Your hormones, the nutrients that you derive from food are all building blocks that determine your health. We cannot be healthy on the outside without first looking at what we eat, our stress levels, and how much sleep we get. Your gums and teeth cannot be healthy unless you are free from systemic diseases. You cannot reflect health unless your internal state is in harmony.
So treatments at An Dental are not just about your teeth and gums. We take a holistic approach in our treatment plan and get to the root of the systemic problem that caused the symptoms that appear in your mouth.
4. What do you think is the “X-factor” as a Periodontist?
” Empathy gives a doctor his or her X factor “
One can have amazing academic accolades but what sets a doctor apart is his or her ability to empathise with the patient’s journey. It is never a pleasant experience to listen to the dental drills, much less listen to the news that you just might lose your teeth due to gum disease.
So when a doctor understands the fear and the sadness that can accompany diseases, it gives that added dimension to the experience and it gives the doctor that X-tra something. Some might call it the X-factor!
5. Tell us more about your Patient Journey at An Dental
I started off treating my patients like how I was taught in school and textbooks. There is a protocol to follow and it’s almost … mechanical.
However, as I practised, I realised that there is so much to gum disease that we don’t understand. I remember I had this patient 13 years ago who was a Tai Chi master and he came to my chair with gum disease. He was also diagnosed with Diabetes. Diabetes is strongly associated with gum disease and according to protocol, we had to refer the patient to a doctor for management of diabetes with medication. He refused to see a medical doctor and swore he could reduce his blood sugar with Tai chi. At that point in my life, I had to do my mini eye rolls internally. 🙄
I was soon to be proven wrong when he showed up in my clinic 2 months later, with his teeth a lot less mobile and his gums so much less inflamed! AND his new blood tests showed reduced sugar levels and he swore he did not take any medication.
The latest studies now show that diaphragmatic breathing does indeed reduce blood sugar levels!
My patients have taught me so much on this journey…….. that there is so much more that science has to catch up with, and that clinical acumen sometimes cannot be grasped from textbooks alone.
6. What do you think defines you from other dental practices?
Our practice emphasises aesthetics, but I think that we have two defining features:
We emphasise a solid foundation of health, underlying any aesthetic procedures we do, The body and gums must be healthy before we embark on anything aesthetic. Otherwise, the aesthetic procedure will fail due to underlying diseases in the long term.
We don’t just look at the teeth. At An Dental, we believe that your teeth have to blend in beautifully with your facial features to get maximum results and a beautiful smile. We thus also present you with the option of gently changing your facial contours to match your new set of teeth.
We call this “The Esthetic Option”. Together with Dr Seah Tian Ee from tES clinic , There is a possibility of slimming your jawline, changing the position of your jaws, enhancing your skin tone, and filling in facial areas that have started to sink in with age. Just let us know and our team of dentists can discuss this option with you.
7. Are there any innovative dental treatments you would like to share about?
a) EMS AIRFLOW
At An Dental, you can request for the EMS AIRFLOW machine which makes dental scaling so much more comfortable. This machine cleans teeth with much-reduced teeth sensitivity because:
- The vibration is gentle and the noise level is very low
- It uses warm water that is soothing for the teeth
- The scaling tip moves in a very gentle up-down motion that does not hurt the teeth by knocking into it
- The AIR-FLOW® PLUS powder is the most finely grained cleaning particle in the world of dentistry. This type of powder efficiently removes plaque and stains whilst being very gentle on the teeth and gums
All these make for a very comfortable, gentle scaling gum treatment experience and is especially recommended for people with dental phobia.
b) In-house 3-D Digital scanner & CT scan machine
We use our in-house 3-D digital scanner and CT scan machine to digitally create a surgical guide when treating patients with complex dental implants. We collaborate with Dr Yang Xiao from Smileform digital to plan our implant placement. This gives extra precision and enhanced safety during the surgical process,
c) Request for The Esthetic Option
At An Dental, we believe that your teeth have to blend in beautifully with your facial features to get maximum results and a beautiful smile.
We can design your smile by changing the position of your teeth, changing the color and shape of your teeth, and also doing cosmetic gum procedures.
These cosmetic gum procedures can reduce the visibility of your gums and cover teeth with existing gum recession to achieve a more symmetrical gum line.
This does not have to stop here, we also present you with the option of gently changing your facial contours to match flawlessly with your new set of teeth.
8. What does Patient Care mean to you?
Patient care involves meeting the patient not just on a technical level but on an emotional level as well.
Our mission at An Dental is to provide a holistic dental treatment plan for you. To get to the root of the problem and heal you in an environment that leaves you empowered and energised after the experience. So hopefully you leave with a better opinion of what dentistry is about than before you walked through our doors.
9. What is the most satisfying thing after a long day at your clinic?
GOING HOME TO MY FAMILY and a hot shower!
About Dr Marlene Teo
Dr Marlene Teo was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lecturer at the National University of Singapore, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. She is also an ITI Fellow and is president of the Women’s Implantology Network, South East Asia. She holds key opinion leadership positions for Oral-B, Dentsply Professional, Straumann and Geistlich products. Check out Dr Marlene Teo’s reviews here.
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DXD10 Trusted Reviews Award is awarded to physicians who are consistently highly rated. This is determined by compiling and analyzing thousands of ratings and reviews of patients from across Singapore and South East Asia.
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