RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Ipanema based orthodontist, Dr. Gustavo Kreuzig
Bastos, last week welcomed the first two of a dozen visiting dental students on
research trips from the UK. Yusef Gadiwalla and Chirag Patel, both final year
students from Kings College London, arrived last Thursday.
A research trip abroad is a compulsory part of the dentistry program at Kings
College London, one of the UK’s leading dentistry schools. “All undergraduate
students are encouraged to take an elective during their final year and
partnerships with schools around the world help to facilitate this”, says
Professor Stephen Challacombe, Director of External Strategy for the Kings
College Dental Institute.
Patel and Gadiwalla chose Rio because of its world class name in cosmetic
dentistry and the reputation of Bastos’ exemplary, modern clinic.
According to a report by the Financial Times, Brazil’s dentistry ranks among
the best in the world, with the skill of its dental practitioners and the size
of its rapidly expanding market attracting some of the biggest names in the
global dental supplies industry, including Dentsply and Ultradent from the US,
and KaVo from Germany.
“It’s an environment that encourages original research,” commented Luiz Abreu,
general manager for Brazil and South America at Ultradent.
Gadiwalli and Patel were also impressed by reports from Bastos’s previous
visiting students, praising his modern and high-tech clinic, and the diverse
program of activities he offers to his students.
Bastos comments, “We cannot forget that [Brazil is] a country of contrasts, so
we try to show them very modern clinics as well as very simple and basic
environments where less fortunate people are seen”. He also stresses the
importance of them making international contacts, saying, “I try to introduce
the foreign students to local students, so they have the chance to start
professional relations that can flourish in the future”.
Motivated by the opportunity for cultural and professional exchange, Bastos has
been hosting international dental students for almost sixteen years. He started
whilst he was still a student himself, helping to organize visits and seminars
for foreign guests, and he has never looked back.
“I think it’s so nice to have the opportunity to learn from the people who come
here. I’m always learning. It’s great to exchange experiences”, he says.
Brazil has almost 200 dental schools throughout the country, with more than 95
of them located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerias and
Espírito Santos. According to Bastos, it is the country with the most dentists
per capita, with Niteroi supporting as many as one clinician for every 171 people.
As such, the market is very competitive and only the best dentists can afford
to keep practicing.
He comments, “We have too many dentists for our people. So much so, that we
don’t count the number of patients we have to treat, but the number of teeth!”
Bastos considers his own competitive advantage to be the international outlook
of his practice. He speaks German and English fluently, and as a result, his
portfolio of clients includes a large number of expats and foreigners. His
ultra-modern Ipanema clinic offers the latest advances in dental treatments, in
a clean and welcoming environment that could rival some of the most exclusive
private clinics around the globe.
By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing
Reporter for The Rio Times