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Scottish Firm Gets to the Root of Malawi’s Dental Crisis


  Posted by: The Probe      10th October 2019

A CHARITY that aims to improve dental care in Malawi has been given a much needed donation from a business at the heart of Scottish dentistry.

With only 40 dentists and around 100 dental therapists to treat a population of over 18,000,000, Smileawi hopes to tackle the country’s dental crisis by facilitating the placement of UK volunteers and distributing vital medical supplies. 

Having been involved with the charity since 2016, Clyde Munro Dental Group has donated hundreds of boxes of dental equipment to this year’s trip, including much needed dental equipment such as drill burrs, files and gauze.

Vicky Milne, Co-founder of Smileawi, said: “Donations like the ones we’ve received from Clyde Munro are absolutely crucial in allowing us to continue delivering dental support across Malawi.

“Visiting the dentist is often viewed as an unnecessary luxury by many Malawians when the tragic reality is that when left untreated, these issues can become fatal.

“Just last year a dental therapist told us that he had met with a 21-year-old patient who’d  never visited the dentist before and had developed a severe abscess as a result. Tragically, because the condition was left untreated for so long, the young man lost his life.

“We hope that by facilitating the placement of UK volunteers – such as dentists and dental nurses from Clyde Munro practices – we’ll be sharing our skillsets and leaving real and lasting change in the communities we visit.”

Graham McAughtrie, a dentist working at two of Clyde Munro’s practices, Alva Dental Practice in Clackmannanshire and Clyde Dental Shettleston, visited Malawi last year.

He said: “I’ve seen first-hand the impact of Smileawi and it has transformed my outlook on life.

“It’s a truly amazing cause. In Malawi, access to care is such that we’re seeing things we just wouldn’t see over here.

“Dentistry over there is about safety and health first and foremost. We removed between four or five hundred teeth in less than three weeks. The patients were so incredibly grateful.”

Clyde Munro practices across Scotland are devoted to providing the best dental care, while reflecting the needs and character of the surrounding community.

The company prides itself on being Scotland’s ‘local dentist’, employing more than 100 clinicians and treating at least 200,000 patients in its 28 practices across the length and breadth of the country.

The group’s continued success was recognised at this year’s Scottish Dental Awards, where Jane Patterson, a dentist at the group’s Torwood practice in Inverness was crowned Scotland’s Young Dentist of the Year.

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