Dentistry in South Africa and the need for management and leadership training


  • Michelle Olubunmi Tukuru Faculty of Dental Surgery of West African College of Surgeons, PG Dip Dent (Practice Management) MSc Dent (Gen). Department of Dental Management Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, SA
  • Lorraine Snyman Senior Lecturer: Department of Dental Management Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, SA
  • Thomas Corne Postma Associate Professor: Department of Dental Management Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, SA
  • Sophy Evelyn van der Berg-Cloete Department of Dental Management Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, SA



Dentistry, leadership; management; leadership training and development


Dental professionals face many challenges due to a rapidly changing environment, and are acknowledging the need for essential leadership skills to perform optimally. We assessed key stakeholders’ views about the need for management and leadership training in dentistry in South Africa . The aim of this study, was to assess the need for leadership and management training in Dentistry in South Africa from an industry perspective. A qualitative study. Purposive sampling of 14 Senior Managers in the dental environment and 11 recently qualified dentists in South Africa. We conducted one-on-one and telephonic interviews guided by a semi-structured questionnaire with open-ended questions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and data was thematically analysed. Participants expressed concerns about dentistry in South Africa. All participants mentioned financial constraints, including the high cost of setting up a practice, high cost of imported consumables and dwindling support from medical schemes. Participants stated that strong leadership and managerial skills were important for dealing with these challenges. Inculcating these skills will make a remarkable difference in enhancing services and providing purposive direction within the profession.


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Author Biography

Sophy Evelyn van der Berg-Cloete, Department of Dental Management Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, SA


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How to Cite

Tukuru, M. O. ., Snyman, L. ., Postma, T. C. ., & van der Berg-Cloete, S. E. . (2021). Dentistry in South Africa and the need for management and leadership training. South African Dental Journal, 76(09), 532–536.