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T h e wa r a g a i n st

The Dental Warehouse is fighting a war against caries and looking to improve SA’s oral hygiene.


The Dental Warehouse FEATURE


outh Africa has poor oral hygiene and more than 90 percent of the population suffer dental caries and require dental treatment. This is due to the fact that the majority (some 80 percent) of the country’s oral health practitioners practice in the private sector, leaving a small number of practitioners to cater for the majority of the population. Budgetary constraints, as well as the fact that the majority of the population are unable to afford dental treatment or insurance, means there is a rising incidence of oral disease among the disadvantaged, underserved and urbanising communities. However, there are some attempting to change this. “The Dental Warehouse has been an player in the South African dental market for over two decades,” explains joint managing director Melanie Savvides, who has been with the Sandton-based firm for 20 years. “Our staff across the country are committed to providing high quality products and service; we are experts in the field with many years experience in the industry, trained at all levels to support the needs of our customers.” The Dental Warehouse’s mission is to supply quality dental products at the best prices possible. “We are a marketer, distributor and importer of dental consumables. In the early years, we handled equipment and laboratory items as a one-stop dental shop. Today, we deal only in dental consumables, supplying quality dental products at competitive prices,” says Eric Serebro, co-joint managing director. As a result of the current world economy, trading conditions have been tough over the last 18 months, but the South African Government’s policies regarding the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme are expected to significantly boost the South African dental products market by creating greater access to dental treatments.


The Dental Warehouse FEATURE

The initiative will not only improve basic dental services, but also brighten the prospects of dental product traders. “The Government has pledged a certain percentage of its healthcare budget to oral care and has been conducting oral health campaigns to create awareness about the importance of oral health,” says Melanie Savvides, the other co-managing director. “We developing new strategies. Dental Warehouse is focusing on the promotion of products, which prevent tooth decay for example, she 4

says. “Amorphous Calcium Phosphates remineralise enamel thus preventing tooth decay. It prevents sensitivity and removes white spots after orthodontics. “We are actively working on the wider use of toothpaste containing the active ingredients, Olaflur and Dectaflur (Fluorides), which exhibit the superior anticariogenic effects of the amine fluorides. They increase the fluoride uptake on the tooth surface and protect the whole tooth, including the areas particularly at risk such as fissures and interdental areas,

working not only during brushing but also between brushing. “The public needs to understand that they must be selective about the toothpaste they use. It should be a high quality product with anticaries properties. “We believe oral diseases are largely preventable, so top priority will also be given to oral health education and that is our major focus. For instance, we are involved in a scheme encouraging mothers to develop healthy oral hygiene habits in children from a very young age and we think it is important

for pregnant women to ensure they are eating all the right foods and taking the correct supplements to assist their unborn child’s teeth to mineralise. “We generally look to educate customers, offering practical oral health advice, bearing in mind that prevention is better than cure.” “We work with reputable manufacturers,” adds Serebro. “All have modern, up-todate facilities. We believe that dental care is a critical issue and while cost is a factor, dental care should not be compromised. Patients should insist that the best quality products are used for their treatments.” “Quality control by careful selection of products is key to our success,” continues Savvides. “Excellent quality, together with the competitive prices, gives us a competitive advantage. Our main goal is to continue to foster high quality relationships with customers, suppliers and staff. “We are a well-established company and can adapt rapidly to market changes.” END


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