Oral and Dental hospital officially opens at the University of Pretoria

Posted on February 22, 2011

The School of Dentistry was established in 1950 at the University of Pretoria, and has always strived for excellence and quality in both its training and service delivery to members of the community. Over the years, there has been a tremendous need to expand training facilities which was necessitated by the expansive growth in technological advances, and by the desire to offer students training of the highest quality in an environment that offers state-of-the-art facilities.

For these improvements to be made at the hospital, the University of Pretoria in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training funded the programme for upgrading of facilities at the Oral and Dental Hospital. The extension of the hospital means outstanding improvement in patient flow, high quality of dental surgeries and equipment, excellent waiting room facilities for patients, as well as optimal provision of facilities for persons with disabilities.

The 1400m sq meters that were added to the oral and dental hospital houses 11 dental consulting rooms, an administrative section, waiting areas for patients and a number of offices on the first level. The second level makes provision for a 110 seat lecture hall, conference and seminar rooms, a number of offices, a multimedia facility and a postgraduate clinical unit.

When addressing the guests at the inauguration of the new wing, the Dean of the School of Dentistry, Prof At Ligthelm said the new building extension not only provides them the opportunity to substantially raise the quality of their academic and training offering, “but it also raise the standard of service delivery to the community, and to greatly improve the oral and the general health of patients”.

The Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development Ms Ntombi Mekgwe, acknowledged that Oral Health Service has not been accorded the primacy it deserves but congratulated the University of Pretoria’s Oral Health and Dental hospital for upgrading its facility. She has also urged the University of Pretoria’s School of Dentistry to increase its level of involvement in community development programs in poor communities. “The majority of our people still struggle to access dental services and it is among the historically disadvantaged communities where oral health services are in a state of neglect. It is for this reason that I emphasize the importance of outreach programmes by the Oral and Dental Hospital”, said MEC Mekwe.

MEC Mekgwe also appealed to the University of Pretoria to look at ways in which they can attract previously disadvantaged scholars to pursue Dentistry as a career. She highlighted that there are less than 30 Oral Hygienists in Gauteng province.

Before officially opening the new wing, the University of Pretoria’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof Cheryl de la Rey commended the relationship the University’s School of Dentistry has with the Gauteng Provincial Government. She also hailed the School of Dentistry’s unique distinctive role it plays in this country by engaging in various community projects such as partnerships with schools and the communities in general, with an intention of advocating the importance of oral and dental care. “To educate the communities regarding the importance of oral health and dental care has a bearing result of encouraging measures of preventative care rather than curable care”, said Prof De la Rey.

Prof de la Rey also mentioned the fact that the School of Dentistry provides a high quality service with regard to training and service delivery because of its facilities which place it ahead of many world class institutions.


Prof Cheryl de la Rey interacts with Prof George
White - Head of Department of Dental
and Management Sciences -  as he
explains the dental equipments during a tour at the new wing of the building.  

Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development Ntombi Mekgwe, listening  attentively as he was taken on tour at the new building by Prof At Ligthelm. 


Prof Cheryl de la Rey interacts with Prof George White - Head of Department of Dental and Management Sciences -  as he explains the dental equipments during a tour at the new wing of the building.  


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