Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science | Graduate Diploma in Dentistry
Principal Dentist and Managing Director, Opulent Dental
Exceptional hand skills, intellectual rigour and a passion for helping people paved the way for Dr. Andrew Chan to pursue dentistry early on. He gained entry into dental school, making it through the highly competitive admissions criteria. He then earned a Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science from Griffith University and further obtained a Graduate Diploma in Dentistry.
Today, with over a decade of professional experience under his belt, Dr. Andrew continues to thrive in a career that has evolved into a two-fold mission: as a practitioner with a strong focus on dental surgery, itmplant surgery and cosmetic dentistry, and as Managing Director of Opulent Dental and several leading dental practices in NSW and WA.
Dentistry is often described as the art and science of oral health, but Dr. Andrew adds more to this already powerful mix, as it brings together a full array of competencies into his day-to-day practice – including compassionate service, critical thinking and a commitment to excellence, to name a few.
Having such an integrative approach is key to ensuring best-in-class quality that’s crucial to the aesthetics and longevity of dental work. Most importantly, it is a cornerstone of the highly personalised, patient-centric level of care that Dr. Andrew is known for: pain-free dentistry that not just improves patients’ oral health, but also enhances their overall wellness and quality of life.
Becoming a dentist was a natural choice for Dr. Andrew, who recognised that his innate strengths and interests are aligned with the core requirements of the profession. Aside from his professional background, he also considers his ability to build authentic relationships with patients a vital aspect of his practice. By providing care that places the patient’s individual needs and values at the centre, Dr. Andrew effectively navigates the clinical setting, where patients often come in anxious or suffering discomfort.
“I think I'm quite gentle and empathetic, and I think most of my patients appreciate that I take the time to explain things to them. I guess that allows them to feel at ease with me,” he says. “They keep coming back to see me because they know that I won’t cause them any discomfort.”
Through empathy, patient education and pain management using the right medical interventions, Dr. Andrew and his team are able to provide a reassuring, relaxing atmosphere for patients before any procedure begins. “Sometimes patients are fearful because of the fear of the unknown,” he says. “So we address that fear, let them know more about the procedure, and sometimes provide some medications such as happy gas (nitrous oxide) to relieve the anxiety.”
The most difficult and the most rewarding part of his job? For Dr. Andrew, it’s the same thing: “You get to help people to work past their fears. Often, the most frightened patients are also the most grateful once you get to show them that dentistry does not have to cause any discomfort.” he says.
Given this perspective, Dr. Andrew believes that breaking old stereotypes about dentists is crucial for changing the public’s mindset about getting dental care. And it starts with spreading the word about what modern-day dentistry can offer. “The technology and the services have improved significantly over the past 20 to 30 years. [More people need to know] that going to the dentist can be a very pleasant experience now,” he says.
Navigating an industry that is rapidly transforming in terms of technology and technique, Dr. Andrew keeps his skills future-ready through continuous education and technology upgrades. He invests in state-of-the-art equipment for his dental clinics – all of course with the aim to further enhance client comfort and improve treatment outcomes. He also allocates at least 100 hours a year for continuing professional development and attends advanced training courses locally and abroad.
But it’s his long-held advocacy for pain-free dentistry that has led to one of the biggest lessons he learned – not just in his career and practice, but also about people and life and general: “Treat people how you'd like to be treated.”
A pivotal period in Dr. Andrew’s career experience was when he travelled to different parts of Australia to practice dentistry. Having the chance to cater to a broader range of demographics further sharpened his skills and allowed him to serve patients who were grateful for the level of dental service he can provide. This journey has also led him to the decision to strengthen his focus on oral surgery.
Eventually, the chance to practice in Western Australia came up. Always the loving husband and father of two, he took the opportunity mainly because “Perth is a lovely place to live for a family.”
A travel enthusiast, Dr. Andrew likewise enjoys reading a variety of books in his spare time. This dentist also reads up a lot on economics and current events on a daily basis, because “economics has a direct impact in everyone's lives at the end of the day.” Many would say that his choice of reading materials simply reinforces his approach to work and life: with a well-rounded perspective and a keen interest in the community’s welfare and well-being.