Dentistry, My Passion – Dr. ‘Atil Athirah

I’ll be honest here; I never wanted to be a dentist when I was young. A kid always wants to be like his or her parent. I grew up wanting to be a teacher, just like my mum and the great teachers I had in school. This then changed during my teenage years; I then wanted to become an engineer, following in my father’s footsteps.

Back in May 2004, during the orientation week of my Matriculation year, we were exposed to all kind of possible future career paths.  Here I was introduced to something entirely new to me… yes you guessed right…it was DENTISTRY. My fascination and interest in this field led me to selecting Applied Bachelor of Dental Surgery in University of Malaya (UM) as my first choice for my bachelor’s degree. Alhamdulillah, I was one of the lucky ones selected to enter much vaunted UM Dental School.

With Prof. Halimah Awang during my Final Year Dinner

Life as a Dental Student was never easy. Nevertheless I enjoyed it, study hard and played hard.

It is somewhat true that Dental Students don’t have much of a ‘social life’, always busy with classes, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, with an hour of lunch break. To think of it, the one hour was not really a break, as we usually end up in the Dental Lab finishing up patient’s dentures. And when students from other faculties were enjoying their semester break, we were up and about in Dental School with our clinical sessions and classes. As much as this was a heavy burden for us students, I am proud to say that the 5 years of pain and hardship has paid off well, we are all better off in our lives for it.

One important lesson I learned in Dental School was that if you want to be successful in your job, you need to be passionate towards your patients and work. You need to be motivated and driven to be the best you could be.

Passion is an amazing emotion that comes from within you. It is your enthusiasm, your zeal, your drive and your inspiration.

In this field, passion does not go unnoticed. Your colleagues and patients will see how well you do your job and your attitude towards it. No matter how hard the task is, a passionate person simply does not cave in. Instead, one would immerse yourself even more into the task to overcome it.

I am passionate about what I do. I am passionate about my patients. They inspire me to do good, to be better.

Let’s have a look at these few cases I’ve dealt with recently;

  1. Miss Mastura flew all the way back from Dubai and had her upper and lower right wisdom tooth removed surgically by me. She sent me this beautiful note.
  2. Me with Marstura
  3. Madam Zarina had always wanted to redo her crown because she did not like the color of her original crown
  4. With Madam Zarina
  5. Brave and amazing kids. Here’s a throwback of the Polaroid photos with my peads patients.
  6. Polaroid Photos with Kids

These cases inspire me. I love the feeling of being able to pat myself in the back feeling, “..I think I made someone feel good and happy..”. At the end of the day, what is life if not for helping  people you care about.


Dr. ‘Atil Athirah Supri

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