Guide to Kid's Dentist : Singapore

Visit your dentist early for prevention.
Google Kid's Dentist or Paediatric Dentist in Singapore.

You will be surprise by the information ( or lack of ) available. This is probably because most parents do not think it is necessary to bring the toddlers to dentist. After all the first set of teeth of a toddler will most likely drop when they approach the age of 5 , thus there is not much urgency to deal with dental issues of the toddler.

First Dental visit

Our quest began when we discovered that the younger one has possible baby bottle tooth decay. Initially we though it was just a minor issue and treatments are limited. However recently , the boy's dental condition worsen and thus a trip to the dentist was warranted.

We tried to search for information on kid's dentist in Singapore. We hit more than a roadblock. It was a stonewall as results only yield a handful of websites. Given that the limited information on kid's dentist, we thought we should contribute our experiences here.

Treat Early
Singhealth recommends that it is ideally best to take the child to visit the dentist when he is 6 to 12 months. Most parents would bark at that suggestion given that the toddler would probably has not much teeth to examine. However it is good to go early in order to anticipate the problem rather than to treat them. Treating a child's dental issue may be the last thing a parent wanted, especially if there is a need for extraction and general anaesthesia

Common Problems
Tooth decay in toddler are more common than one would imagine. The common dental problems in children are :

Baby Bottle tooth Decay
Decay usually cause when a baby falls asleep while sucking on a bottle. The sucking becomes passive and milk pool around the teeth to form plaque. Sugar in the milk is converted to plaque and changed to acid. This will lead to severe decay known as Baby bottle Tooth decay. Decay could be worsen with intake of sweet drinks / fruits / sweets without proper dental care ( i.e. brushing after exposure or before sleep)

Thumsucking/ Pacifier Use
Some toddlers / babies likes to suck thumb / pacifier. The practise usually cease on its own from 2-4 . However if remain unchecked, it may affect teeth alignment

Accidental falls may result in damages in tooth.Treatments such as extraction and alignment are done by the dentist.

Pediatric Dentist
Kids dentists are considered a 'rare' commodity in Singapore. In our quest to search for a kid's dentist, we discovered that there are mainly 2 different kinds of outlets available. They are either from big chain names (Such as Specialist Dental Group, Smile Concept or T32 Dental)or specialists known as Pediatric Dentist. The few specialist dentists also has a waiting list of more than 1 month

In our search for a dentist, we stumbled upon the term paediatric dentist. Pediatric Dentist is the branch of dentistry dealing with dental treatment of babies, doodlers, children. Not all dentist are willing to treat a toddler's tooth. In some cases, they are not train or qualified to deal with young toddlers, making a visit down to the dentist a nightmare instead of a of a stress free environment.
Do look for dentists that are trained to look after children's teeth. We had visited 2 specialist (as we needed a second opinion) and was surprised by the service given by the different dentists.

Finding a good dentist is a hit and run affair.

Different Standards
We often rely on word of mouth or friend's recommendation. Initially we bought the youngest boy to a reputable kids specialist. The first impression was rather unpleasant. The dentist has a long waiting list of 1 month plus, but we managed to squeeze in an appointment after some cancellation. During consultation, we got an earful from the dentist on the child's dental issue. We were told that general anaesthesia and an operation was needed.However there was not much time spend explaining the procedure.

As for advice, all we have to work on is ' You have to change the habits' (We know that!). When prompted if such procedure is safe and if the dentist had done it before, the response was a curt, 'I have over 20 years experience you know' (Which still did not explain if his experiences had been good or bad) and ' GA is safe otherwise you will hear of babies dying in KK every other week' (Duh , that is as good as telling me pigs don't fly, but not why it doesn't)

Sorry, you may be experience and reputable. Your clinic may be swanky and located in a desirable address. Yes the environment with all its kids toys and accessories is appealing to the kids, but if you do not address the parents concern, all the above is of little use. The whole consultation took about 15 minutes ( including examination) and left a bad taste in the mouth.

Our Choice- Kids Dental World
After some thoughts we decided we need a second opinion. We found this clinic Kids Dental World - by Dr Ong Yean Sze from a positive review. We decided to give it a shot. We called and was surprise to learn an appointment can be fix as early as the next day. This lead us to be sceptical as we thought usually the more popular dentists will have a long waiting list.

Kids Dental World
The Clinic
Nevertheless , it did not deter us. This time we made an appointment for both boys. The clinic is located at the newly open Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. We were greeted bay a rather small waiting area. it was a bright and cheery room. with a decent size LCD TV and 2 xbox stations ( The normal Xbox and a kinect) Seating area is rather limited with a four seater sofa and a few stools.

The interview
We were there on time for our appointment and waited less than 10 minutes to see the dentist (weekday afternoon) Dr Ong began by interviewing us on the kids lifestyle and dental habits. Upon hearing us, she identified what is wrong with our lifestyle pattern and suggested changes to our habits (such as feeding less frequently for Land flossing for C). In addition, she informed us on the use and benefits of fluoride for the child. She gave us a quick education on the essential teeth of a toddler ,which incidentally are the molars and canines that will help space the adult teeth in the future.

The interview process itself takes about 10-15 minutes
All these time, the kids entertain themselves with a huge teeth replica to brush upon as well as LCD tv on the ceiling.

Checking the teeth out.
The Examination
First up was C. Dr Ong introduce a storybook to tell the concept of tooth and brushing. She was very patient with him. Being his first time, he was a little apprehensive when she began to floss his teeth. However she managed to divert his attention effectively. In the end, Charles managed to get his yellow teeth cleaned as well.

He was rewarded with a Spiderman toothbrush for his efforts.

Next up was L, upon seeing his brother's reward. he was determine to get the same.He was the perfect patient , sitting there readily opening his mouth while the Dr prodded his mouth. All these time she was reassuring and praising him. Needless to say he has his reward at the end of the day.
The boys did better than expected for the dental checkup . They were familiar with the Tiny Dentist app on the iPad and were well prepared on what the dentist is going to do. Check out the app here.
Tiny Dentist

The results of the examination yields the same result as the first. An extraction was necessary in Louis case. However the difference was that the Dr Ong took the effort to explain by drawing on a tooth diagram the areas that she will work upon including the cavities and the fillers of each individual tooth ( there are quick a few problem areas). In addition, she had shown us visuals of past cases and let us know what to expect should extraction be necessary. This was lacking during our previous visit to another dentist.

Given the clear explanation, we were more assured and thus had decided to go ahead with the operation.
Overall, the experience was a more than pleasant visit. Dr Ong had made dental visit a delightful experience for the boys. She had spend over 1 hour with the 2 boys diagnosis, placing more emphasis on Louis.
We would highly recommend Dr Ong if you are looking for a good paediatric dentist. She has a vast experiences of over 20 years in Singapore and UK, and had work in the established Smilefocus group prior to setting up her own clinic. In addition, being one of the founding members and Vice President of the Society of Paediatric Dentistry ( Singapore) does tell volumes of her capabilities.
To sum it up, use this guide as a reference for kid's dentist in Singapore.
  • Get a Pediatrics Dentist : Especially for kids below 6 . We have nothing against the bigger dentist chains that does it all, but a specialist for kids would be preferred as it takes a different skill set to handle kids. Clinics with kids room does not automatically qualify a dentist to be a pediatrics dentist.
  • Check the kids teeth before they turn 2 , or when first signs of decay appear. Prevention is better than treatment and if treated early, extraction can be prevented. (If only we had more information earlier, we would have not delayed treatement.
  • Choose a dentist who care to explain and advise rather than chide and be authoritative.
  • Do not believe on heresay and hype. Go and seek a 2nd opinion if needed. Not all expensive dentist are good and long waiting time does not guarantee a good dentist. Go for a consultation and assess the Dentist, rather than decide by perceived reputation.

Too bad we are not kids, otherwise we would gladly have her examine our teeth anytime.

The Little Details
Kids Dental World
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
38 Irrawaddy Road #08-33
Singapore 329563
Tel : 66843113
(Payment can be done through Child Development Account)

This is a personal post on experiences and it not sponsored in anyways by Kids Dental World


  1. Great post and most informative too. I took my 4 year old to the regular dentist a few months back and we had a good experience then;(albeit no free toothbrush!). I don'nt know of any paeds dentist, But I'll love to bring my kids to one!You have really brave boys!

  2. The boys are braver than the parents in this case :) Dr Ong is pretty good especially in terms of distracting the child and being patient with them. I had heard of horror dental stories with non paeds dentist, so I am glad we managed to find one that we are comfortable with.

  3. Hi,
    This is very good and very nice posting.
    Keep it up nice posting like this.

    Thanks for shairing.

  4. Thanks for writing about your kids' dental visit! From your recommendation, we brought our boy to Dr Ong today, we had a very good experience and it wasn't stressful or traumatic at all for our boy! We put "wackyduo.com" down as where we heard about the place.. haha

  5. You r welcome Adelene. Maybe next time Dr Ong will give us a discount for this 'publicity' . Haha.

  6. hi there, my gal may need to extract her tooth. May i know how is the anesthesia done?

  7. For us, we ha the GA done at the surgery center.. Ga is applied using a breathing mask, it was very quite within seconds, and the boy went to sleep. Ga is usually done in surgery centres for younger kids. Older kids most likely a local Anesthsia would be done and should be able to be operated at the dentist.

  8. Thank you! Much needed info and assurance. Definitely a huge load off our mind!
    We were referred to Dr Ong by another dentist for our 3.5 year old's dental treatment. We are scheduled to see her within the next couple of days.
    P.S. appreciate the heads-up regarding the 'reputable' dentist.


    1. Hi Aug. you're welcome and good luck for the treatment!

  9. Hi there! This post is exactly what i needed.. May i know how many tooth was extracted n if u dont mind sharing how much was the total cost of the procedure?

    1. Hi Lin, I can't recall the actual cost, but it depends on what is done. My big undergone ga , 2 extractions . The fee would be broken down to 1) doc fee depending on work done and time spend 2) local or ga 3) operating theatre 4) mis. So best check with doc on the actual cost. It should be in a range of 3-5 k ( use can use cpf to offset some costs)

    2. Hi there, just want to know if there is a typo? the extraction would cost $3,000 - $5,000? I almost fell out of my chair!

    3. No typo. It is the ga that cost more. Need to book operating theatre for that ( also need to pay for it too!) . If done in house at the dentist, it should be much cheaper than this.

    4. Mine had 1 tooth extracted and 5 other teeth with work done. It cost S$3400. Can be fully paid using Baby Bonus actually, but Dr Ong booked Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital instead of Novena Surgery like WackDuo used. Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital is sadly not Baby Bonus Certified - which Dr Ong was not aware at that point in time. So in the end, we only used the Baby Bonus to pay for Dr Ong's Fees (about S$1700 or S$1800?) and the balance in cash to the hospital for use of the Operating Theatre and the Anaesthetist's fees.

    5. Hi there, what is the cost that can offset CPF? I called a few dentist, they told me medisave is not allowed to use for tooth surgery. Tks.

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    7. Information from Mount E Dental Surgery website. What are the common dental surgery procedures that are Medisave claimable ?

      Some of the common procedures claimable under the Medisave Scheme are :

      Surgical extraction of teeth/roots
      Wisdom teeth removal ,
      Removal of cyst/tumour
      Correction of tonque tied
      Dental implant surgery
      Bone grafting
      Jaw surgery

      However I might have mixed up Baby Bonus with Medisave, so it is best to ask the dentist on this.

  10. Every visit, my little one would struggle (horrors - the last visit I brought my husband along to hold the little one) - but we still go to Dr Ong. We trust her lah. Read about her first on your blog and communicated with you on FB.

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  12. Can I know how much is the charges for Dr Ong?