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Relocating from rural Australia to Blacktown

A passion for all things gum related took Dr Teck Tang from remote Australian areas to his own multi-disciplinary practice in Blacktown.

  5 minutes


After finishing his undergraduate degree with honours at the University of Western Australia, Dr Teck Tang worked in general dentistry, which included practising for a stint in outback WA. But periodontology was always his calling.

“Even in the very beginning I was into oral medicine,” he explains. “I’ve always been intrigued by gum diseases, because they are affected by so many different factors, and are sometimes related to underlying medical conditions. When you first graduate as a dentist, you're really focused on the teeth, but the gums are the foundation, and the more that time went on, the more interested I became in that area.”

Building his own foundation

With his vocation nudging him, Dr Tang returned to study as a specialist at the University of Adelaide and received his Doctor of Clinical Dentistry in Periodontology in 2008. Subsequently, Dr Tang worked for the Sydney Specialist Dental Group for nearly a decade, before making the decision to set up his own practice, Blacktown Specialist Dental Care, which he has been building steadily since July this year.

Dr Tang regards his time at the Sydney Specialist Dental Group as critical in shaping his skills and capacity to manage his own practice now. He’s also been inspired by their structure.

“The Specialist Dental practices have multiple dental specialists working at each centre across various disciplines, which means that they can really work on more complex cases,” he says. “I’ve set up my own practice, with a view to working towards that kind of structure.”

With sufficient experience in a multi-disciplinary specialist dental practice under his belt, the time seemed ripe for Dr Tang to run his own practice. That decision was also influenced by the fact that Dr Tang had been able to identify a gap in the market. His decision to open in Blacktown was a very careful one.

“I chose the area because Blacktown and the surrounding areas don’t have a specialist dental clinic,” he explains. “In fact, there didn’t seem to be many specialists in the area at all.”

Old friends

When it came to financing the practice, Tony Kalmin from BOQ Specialist was Dr Tang’s first port of call. “BOQ Specialist knows the dental profession in depth,” Dr Tang says.

“My first interaction with Tony was for a car loan, and when it came to financing my clinic I went straight to BOQ Specialist as I had such a great experience previously. I didn't even contact other lenders, because I know that BOQ Specialist understand our needs as a profession. They have also been enormously helpful in terms of helping me to plan and structure my repayments in the initial stages.”

Even though Dr Tang’s practice is relatively new, he already has a prosthodontist and two paediatric dentists on board. “I’m still looking for other dental specialists, but it takes a while,” Dr Tang reflects.

Plans for growth

He has already mapped out marketing plans for the practice. “Apart from managing patients together with general dentists, I really like to engage with them on a more personal level. I’ve found the best way to do that is via continuing education—they learn something and I get to meet them. Part of the plan at the moment is to run lectures for referring dentists, which could be in the form of webinars, or hands-on courses.”

Dr Tang’s highlight in practice so far is the personal care of his patients.

“I’m loving being able to really look after the patient and know that it’s someone I’ll be looking after for a long time. When it’s your own practice you know that you're not going to quit and stop seeing a patient. Knowing that these are my own patients and people I’ll be caring for into the future is the biggest reward.”


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