Principal Dentist Dr Chitty Gong is passionate about holistic dentistry and providing quality, personalised dental care for families and individuals. Together with her husband, she established Six Twelve Family Dental, in Hurlstone Park, in 2017.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a wife and mother of a 28-month-old girl. I moved to Australia from China with my mum when I was nine years old. We joined my dad who was living here already. I’m an older sister in my family, and I’ve always taken a nurturing role in our very close and supportive family. After I finished school I did a Bachelor degree in Dentistry (Honours) at the University of Sydney. It was at Dental School that met my husband, Timothy, who now works as a Principal Dentist at Six Twelve Family Dental with me.
What did you do prior to establishing your own practice?
After I graduated in 2010, I went to work at a dental practice in Albury at one of the area’s longstanding dental surgeries. I had done a placement in Albury during my studies and loved the local community so much I decided to take a job there. Over two years I learned so much from the practice owner about dentistry and about life in general. Due to the regional location of the practice, we saw a wide range of cases, from routine to complex ones, and it was there that I developed an interest in oral surgery, particularly wisdom teeth removal. In 2012, I returned to Sydney and worked in private clinics for the next five years. During that time I undertook extensive further professional training in orthodontics (Invisalign and traditional braces), cosmetic dentistry, smile rehabilitation, anti-wrinkle injections, endodontics and implantology.
What inspired you to set up Six Twelve Family Dental?
I first began thinking of starting a dental practice after I became a mother. I always wanted to return to the workforce after having our daughter, but I knew that I’d struggle with a work-life balance and I liked the idea of determining my own hours. When my husband and I decided we’d set up Six Twelve Family Dental, we aimed to create a family-oriented clinic that could offer a higher level of personal care than many private clinics. We opened the doors of our practice in December 2017.
What are the various services you offer?
We are a full-service dental clinic, offering preventative dental treatment, restorative dentistry, orthodontics for children and adults, crowns and bridges, paediatric dentistry, emergency dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, root canal therapy, oral surgery, wisdom teeth removal, dental implants, mouthguards and anti-snoring appliances.
What can patients expect from a visit to your practice?
We offer a relaxed, calming environment, and a very gentle chair-side manner. We make sure our patients understand at each stage exactly what is happening and why. During the first consultation, we work with the patient to understand their dental history and overcome any concerns they may have. We like to provide a tailored treatment plan, and we recommend only the services that are required and are always transparent about fees.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
First of all, I love having my own clinic, where I am able to form long-term relationships with my patients. It’s such a pleasure to help a patient to restore confidence and achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. I also really enjoy helping parents to ensure their kids are given the opportunity for good dental health from a young age. Personally I’m passionate about holistic dentistry, treating the underlying problem, not just the symptom, and providing dental care that is beneficial for one’s whole body, not just the teeth and gums.
What advice can you offer mums who are thinking of making a career or lifestyle change?
I think it’s so important to feel happy in yourself before you can be a happy mother and wife. If you’re not satisfied, you won’t be able to inspire your partner or kids. And if there is something you’ve always wanted to do, pour heart and soul into that idea and go for it!
Have you ever read a book that has changed your perspective or path in life?
Not especially. I’ve always had a very clear vision for my path in life and haven’t deviated from that. I love to read, however, and I choose books and other content that nurture my hobbies, including health and beauty and snowboarding.
As a mother yourself, what is the best piece of advice you have to offer new mums?
I would say make an effort to feed your mind, your body and your soul. Just because you become a mother doesn’t mean you have to put everyone first all the time. Inspire your child to live their best life by showing them you are happy with your own life.
Favourite places in the Inner West?
We love the Inner West! We currently live in the St George area, but we’re constantly visiting the Inner West. Some of our favourite local spots are Two Chaps in Marrickville, Brewtown in Newtown, Tavernaki in Leichhardt and Cow and Moon in Enmore.