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One of my filler suppliers A kept asking me to come out of retirement and set up my own practice so that I can market myself and do as many facial aesthetic cases as I can. However, I’m well aware that the potential for problems in facial aesthetics cannot be underestimated. As a semi-retired dentist, I think I should treat facial aesthetics as a “special interest” and not as a primary focus. An interesting encounter this afternoon convinced me of that.

Technically, I’m still on holiday. I’m not bored, but when my supplier P called me up and said that he had a couple of aesthetic cases to refer to me, I decided that I could do with a bit of “exercise”. So I popped down to Ang Mo Kio and thought I could use up some of my stock of cross-linked filler and make somebody very happy.

Two aunties and a little boy were waiting for me in the waiting area. The boy was obviously not a patient and one of the aunties backed out when the word “bruising” was mentioned. The other auntie appeared keen. In fact, she was so keen that she started doubting my credentials. Of course, showing her my annual practising certificate was not too unreasonable a demand, but she went on to ask about the courses I attended, where I practised and even wanted to see my “syringes” and equipment. This made me wonder what sort of objections she would raise after seeing my consent form.

Anyway, she probed further to ask me where I was practising, why I didn’t have my own clinic and even doubted I was telling the truth as I looked too young to be semi-retired. Well, I have to say that I’m not averse to discussing my personal life and choices, but it’s important that it comes out as part of a friendly chat and not an interrogation. But what’s most disturbing, was the fact that she wanted the bridge of her nose raised. On observing her nose, I concluded that it did not need any fillers. Too much will make it too unnatural. I suggested that she should instead, do her tear troughs. As you may be able to infer from what I told you about her so far, she curtly rejected my advice and insisted that she needed a nose job.

Stock photo

Stock photo

I could have just told the auntie off and/or walked off, but I didn’t want to embarrass P. So I shook my head to indicate to him that this was a confirmed FON case. I was keen on doing something exciting and satisfying on my day off, but I wasn’t prepared to accept any Alamak patients. I would rather waste the afternoon than to waste Buddha knows how much time managing auntie’s complaints.

Fortunately, the two aunties said they wanted to be given 10 minutes and decide. They went outside and just as I expected (and thankfully) they didn’t come back in. I’m quite cool about it. I just hope they don’t think that we’re desperate and disappointed. Maybe I’, a bit annoyed with all that “interrogation”, but I’m actually quite relieved that I didn’t end up stepping on a mine.


Dental Phobia by Chan Joon Yee