I visited a dentist at Jurong Polyclinic on Nov 2, 2011, and had a partially broken molar tooth filled.

I was shocked to be given a follow-up appointment for scaling and polishing on May 7 this year - a gap of 11/2 years. I was told this was because there were too many patients seeking appointments.

I resigned myself to the long wait. However, the filling in my tooth came off recently.

Being in pain, I called the polyclinic to request that my dental appointment be brought forward, but was told there were no available slots.

The operator advised me to keep calling to check if anyone cancelled an appointment, so I could take that slot.

I was also told to check with the dentist if he would cap my broken tooth, as my next appointment was for scaling.

I was also dismayed to know that treatment was carried out by oral hygiene therapists, and not dentists.

We are advised to see the dentist every six months, so why are polyclinic appointments spaced so far apart?

This was not the case five years ago. Then, patients could have their teeth scaled, polished and filled all at the same appointment.

I hope the Health Ministry will raise the standard of public dental services, and also look into offering subsidised dental treatment at selected private clinics to ease the crunch at public clinics.


Sundram Muthiah