Dr. Tay graduated from the University of Singapore in 1979 with a BDS and later pursued postgraduate training from 1981-1984 at Northwestern University, Chicago, where he received a Certificate in Prosthodontics and a Master of Science degree. He attained his specialist certification in Prosthodontics from the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, in 1988, and is currently registered as a Dental Specialist in Prosthodontics (MOH).
He was a tenured full-time faculty member in National University of Singapore (NUS), from 1984 till 1993, where he was Senior Lecturer & Consultant in the Department of Restorative Dentistry, NUS/NUH. During his time at NUS, Dr Tay was deeply involved in both the undergraduate and postgraduate prosthodontic teaching programmes and was instrumental in setting up the Dental School’s Integrated Core Curriculum in Occlusion and the Faculty’s Orofacial Pain Unit.
He founded Dr. David K. L. Tay & Associates in 1993 and continued to act as a visiting Consultant in Orofacial Pain & Prosthodontics for the Singapore Armed Forces (until August 2007).
Dr. Tay has long been a vocal advocate for the establishment of a Dental Specialist Register and was the first in Singapore to officially limit his dental practice to the specialty of prosthodontics. He is widely known in the prosthodontic world for his expertise in full-mouth occlusal rehabilitation using the N.U.S. treatment philosophy which he originated in 1992. He has built a strong clinical reputation for the diagnosis and successful management of patients with Temporomandibular Disorders(TMD), chronic orofacial pain and headache. Locally, he is known to his medical colleagues as the pioneer in Dental Sleep Medicine and Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB) which he manages in close collaboration with a team of sleep professionals. Dr. Tay has been an Academic Advisor to the International Sleep Academy since its inception.
He has published widely in scientific journals, served on their editorial boards, contributed to prosthodontic textbooks and given many presentations and courses on Occlusion, Prosthodontics, Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) and Sleep Dentistry both locally and overseas. He holds membership in several organizations including the International College of Prosthodontists, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Academy of Osseointegration (USA), American Equilibration Society, ASEAN Sleep Surgical Society and is a life member of the Pain Association of Singapore.
He was the invited SDA Masterclass Speaker at the 2014 combined scientific meeting on Orofacial Pain, jointly organised by the Pain Association of Singapore and the Singapore Dental Association.
He has held leadership positions in numerous national and international professional organisations and was previously the President of the Prosthodontic Society of Singapore; Chairman of the Chapter of Dental Surgeons, AM (S’pore); Chairman, Specialist Certification Subcommittee on Dental Specialties and Convenor, Committee for Advanced Training in Prosthodontics, AM (S’pore). His continued participation in academia has been in the role of external examiner for PhD and MSc research projects conducted in the Department of Restorative Dentistry, National University of Singapore.
His role as Clinical Director of the T32 Specialist Division, is but the logical extension of his personal commitment to the development of evidence-based dentistry in Singapore and the region.
Dr, Tay is a keen golfer and has made pilgrimages to courses like St. Andrew’s, Gleneagles, K Club, Valderrama and Pebble Beach. He plays off a single handicap and loves to go for constitutional walks with O.B., his faithful, slobbering chocolate Labrador retriever.