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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CEREC TRAINER (SIRONA)