Dental tourism is not a big thing in Morocco, despite the high number of highly qualified dentists, many of whom have trained in France. The cost of good dentistry is remarkably inexpensive by European standards and many surgeries have all the modern equipment one would expect - but there are problems.
On the other side of the ledger there are some dubious practitioners. According to the National Order of Dentists, Morocco is home to over 3,300 fake dentists, 1,800 of which are illegal even as only dental technicians. The Order of Dentists has asked the authorities to take urgent measures to deal with the fakes, claiming they are endangering "the image of the Moroccan dentistry."
When checks were run by representatives of the Ministries of Interior and Health on illegal dentistry, it found conditions of "deplorable hygiene and sterilisation equipment" putting patients at risk of being contaminated with serious diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis or even AIDS .
In some cases, drugs and pharmaceuticals were found in these "offices" that should have been "exclusively" for dentists.
These fake dentists specifically target the neighbourhoods where the population does not necessarily by the difference between a real and a fake dentist.
Then there is the problem of rural dentistry. Just imagine, living with your family in an isolated fishing village or remote mountain area with no dentists, a high sugar diet, no toothbrushes and no fluoride tooth paste. You don't need to be a dentist to imagine the consequences, but the dental neglect has shocked experienced dentists from overseas.
A group of English dentists has been working the last five years to alleviate the problem and though they admit it is only a small contribution to a large problem, they are making a profound difference to those they assist.
The Dental Mavericks charity aims at providing dental care in remote areas of the world.
Back in 2013, The View from Fez ran a story (see it here) about Dental Mavericks and their work in Morocco, and we can happily report that there good work continues. To find out more about how you can donate or assist, visit their website
To celebrate 5 years of service in Morocco Dental Mavericks is running a Mount Toubkal Fundraiser to assist in building a dental room and dental chair for their Teeth For Life Programme in Khizana - It runs from May 09th to May 12th 2015. See details HERE