Dr. Yao grew up in Singapore and received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Minnesota, United States. She then completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry with the New York University Langone Hospitals in Maui, Hawaii. During her curriculum, she received the Horace Wells Award from the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology for her achievement in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Yao returned to her beloved sunny island Singapore after eleven years abroad.

Dr. Yao believes in building strong personal relations with her patients and staff in a people-centered environment. Through helping patients understand their unique oral health conditions, she hopes to help her patients achieve “A Lifetime of Dental Health”. She dedicates much of her time to understanding patients’ needs and expectations, in order to make the most suitable recommendations. With gentle hands and a reassuring voice, Dr. Yao eases even the most anxious patients.

Dr. Yao enjoys all aspects of dentistry, with keen interests in preventative dentistry, Invisalign and prosthodontics. She strongly believes in continuing education, so as to provide her patients with the highest standard of care.

Dr. Yao speaks fluent English and Mandarin Chinese. In her time away from her beloved career, Dr. Yao enjoys gym sessions, rock climbing, badminton, cooking, and quality time with her loved ones.

“Dental care is a personal relationship built on mutual respect and understanding. Thank you for trusting us with your dental care, together, we can help you achieve a lifetime of dental health.”

Dr. Yao’s Achievements include:

  • Certified Invisalign Provider
  • Executive Council Member of the College of General Dental Practitioners (Singapore)
  • Committee member of the Singapore Dental Association Continuing Dental Education Committee
  • Ordinary member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry (U.S.)

MY JOURNEY

Top 10 Burning Questions You Always Wanted To Ask Your Favourite Dentist But Never Got The Chance.

1. What’s your most favourite thing you love being a dentist?

Dr. Yao: Getting to know my patients by listening to patient’s stories, some of which crack me up, some of which bring tears to my eyes.

2. What’s the most complex operation you’ve done in your dental career?

Dr. Yao: We once had an elderly patient with very sensitive gag reflex who needed to take multiple impressions to make complete dentures. I talked him through the procedure, used nonconventional methods like numbing his palate, and took my best impression while comforting him as he gagged saliva all over my arm. Even though the operation was not complex, managing my patient through his fear and physical discomfort was the most challenging. My greatest satisfaction was how happy the patient was with the final dentures!

3. What is the most important skill you think a dentist should have, and why?

Dr. Yao: I’ll list two skills: empathy and foresight. Technical precision needs to be accompanied by empathy, which not only helps dentists better understand their patients’ needs, but also speed up patient recovery as shown in multiple studies. In addition, a dentist needs to have foresight for preventative treatment, as the Chinese proverb goes “The best doctor prevents illness, a mediocre one treats illnesses that are about to occur, and an unskilled one treats current illnesses.” For example, we recommend a child’s first dental visit to be by one year old, what can we do for a child at one? Our time is actually spent on helping parents understand how to prevent oral diseases, and make simple changes to the child’s diet and oral routines for a healthy childhood.

4. How has being a dentist impacted your life so far?

Dr. Yao: I’ve learned to be more empathetic, engage in active listening, and communicate with compassion. This has improved relationships in both my professional and personal lives. I have also learned to communicate with children; setting their expectations, understanding their unspoken fears, and helping them build self-confidence with every encounter. I am really grateful for the love our child patients shower us with!

5. What do you love most about your workplace?

Dr. Yao: Our team has great dynamics – helpful, positive, caring. It is not only the dentists, but also our assistants and front desk personnel. Everyone is always looking to help our patients be more comfortable!

6. What’s a typical day like for you?

Dr. Yao: I go over the day’s treatments in the morning, familiarize myself with my patients’ treatment history to be prepared for the day. We’ll see various types of patients a day, jumping between complex adult root canals or wisdom teeth extractions and fun kids’ exams, so I always need to be alert and ready for the next challenge! When I’m done with work, I head to the gym or home to have dinner with my family.

7. Who do you look up to as a role model?

Dr. Yao: Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. She wrote a book titled “Lean In”, which encourages women to break down societal and personal barriers to achieve a more equitable society.

8. When and how did you decide to become a dentist?

Dr. Yao: I’ve always enjoyed caring for others, working with my hands in biology research, as well as in teaching. I realized after university that dentistry offers me the chance to help others through skilled handy-work, as well as the opportunity to educate the public in preventative care. So far I am still loving my job every single day!

9. How was your first dental experience like?

Dr. Yao: I remember having a really painful lower molar when I was 4, my mom had to carry me and walk around all night to ease my pain. I don’t actually remember the extraction itself, but unfortunately due to the lack of space-maintenance for the prematurely extracted baby tooth, my adult tooth had no space to grow and came out crooked. As a result, I had to extract the crooked adult tooth as well. Therefore I always explain to parents about planning for the long term for their children!

10. What books are you reading at the moment?

Dr. Yao: I use the app Overdrive to borrow e-books from the NLB! Currently I’m juggling Dr. Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”, which talks about the pursuit of meaning as life’s goal, and Warren Buffett’s biography “The Snowball”. For audiobooks I am listening to Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere”, and Phil Knight’s autobiography “Shoe Dog”, outlining how he founded Nike.

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