Dentistry in Uganda – The Changing Landscape

Dentistry in Uganda – The Changing Landscape

Image: “Dr Tom Mutyabule – CEO, Pan Dental Surgery.” Article – ‘”Dentistry in Uganda” images courtesy of  Brian O. Achaye – SkyNet Technologies Ltd  

Some interesting facts about dentistry. Did you know:

  • That the earliest known person referred to as a dental practitioner was an African, Hesy-Re, an Egyptian scribe who died in 2600 BC. He was appropriately referred to as “Chief of the Toothers”
  • That the world’s oldest known toothpaste was recorded in 400 AD in Egypt with a formulation of; mint, salt, grains of pepper and dried iris flower.
  • That the Greek philosopher Aristotle mistakenly claimed that men had 32 teeth and women had only 30. And therefore, the term “wisdom teeth,” which presumably only men had.
  • That silver paste for fillings was developed by the Chinese around 700 AD.

In pre-colonial Uganda however, evidence of dental treatment does not go as back as the ones highlighted above. This is because it was largely performed by the local “medicine man” using; charcoal, chew sticks, lemon juice, lemon grass, ashes, or even a mixture of tobacco and honey to clean and treat teeth.  In fact, the earliest known Ugandan dental practitioner is one Musa Settimba, who, in 1946 began training on the job at Mulago Hospital under the supervision of the only two European dentists in Uganda at the time. The country’s oldest University, Makerere University, didn’t start the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree course until 1982, and later on Dental Technologists and Oral Maxillofacial surgeons.

Dr. Tom Mutyabule CEO Pan Dental Surgery
Dr. Tom Mutyabule CEO Pan Dental Surgery
pan log 31 resized png
Pan Dental Surgery

And now with specialists in Restorative dentistry, Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Periodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, Implantology, and Dental radiology, one does not need to travel abroad, as was the case 20 years ago, to get state-of-the-art dental treatment.


One such dental practice is Pan Dental Surgery, the pioneers of Digital dentistry in Uganda, who introduced the first digitally and accurately designed 3-D milled teeth (dental crown) using CAD/CAM system in 2012 called CEREC (Chair-side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics). It’s a system that comfortably and digitally acquires information from the mouth, computer assisted designs and manufacturers with accurate precision teeth used to replace that which has been destroyed. This has led to excellence and durability of restorations and treatments for our clients. Prior to that, manual impressions had to be taken, sent abroad to dental labs in South Africa or USA, leaving the dentist and patient waiting weeks and sometimes onto months to receive the final restoration.

Dr Lynn Esther Musinguzi Cerec Trainer
Dr Lynn Esther Musinguzi Cerec Trainer
3 D radiology imaging centre Pan Dental Surgery
3-D Radiology Imaging Centre Pan Dental Surgery

Dr. Lynn Esther Musinguzi

Soon after, Dr. Tom Mutyabule the Founder of PanDentalSurgery and his team advanced to the first dental 3-D radiology imaging centre in Uganda that has revolutionized diagnosis and treatment planning, making multiple treatment option available to the patient.

Dentistry in Uganda X rays by Brian O. Achaye SkyNet Technologies Ltd
Dentistry in Uganda X rays by Brian O. Achaye SkyNet Technologies Ltd

Digital Dentistry Training in Uganda

With their international partners like Dentsply-Sirona (USA/GERMANY), Dr. Tom Mutyabule alongside Dr. Esther Lynn Musinguzi, the head of clinicians at Pandental, both the first male and female CEREC trainers in the Sub-saharan region respectively, launched a Digital training centre at the Pandental Academy in downtown Kampala to train and promote digital dentistry in Uganda. Both trained at Sirona headquarters Frankfurt, Germany where they obtained skills to train other dental practitioners. This has encouraged the widespread of modern dentistry across the city and country.


Indeed, many Dentist have acquired the machinery and equipment, and with local support from Pan Dental Supplies , sustainability and local support has been made easy. Pan Dental services range from Surgically guided implants, 1 day endondotics, immediate implant placement, smile design, teeth whitening (with immediate results visible) to alignment of teeth. Invisible or Clear braces (Clear Aligners) were also first introduced by Pan Dental Surgery in…..locally manufactured from Pan Dental Lab and supplied to the fellow dentists and clients.

Clear Aligners Dentistry in Uganda
Clear Aligners

In conclusion…

So yes, the dental practice landscape has come along way in Uganda, and am excited to be part of its gleaming future that’s full of innovation and advancement to the betterment of serving the ever-growing and evolving clientele.


Dr. Lynn Esther Musinguzi



For more information

Contact Pan Dental Surgery:

Location: 67 Buganda Road
Tel: +256 701 091800 / +256 417 788650

Location: 63A Naguru Drive:
Tel: +256 752 908745 / +256 784 777210

Location: 11A Nalufenya Road:
Tel: +256 708 310613 / +256 703 096075  |

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