It was our greatest honor and pleasure to meet a female figure that has pioneered and driven the field of dentistry in Kuwait. As the first Kuwaiti woman to receive a dentistry degree, Dr. Eqbal Al-Asfour is also one of the select founding members appointed by the Ministry of Health in establishing the Kuwaiti Dental Society. After an honorable service in the public sector for almost 24 years, Dr. Al-Asfour now owns and manages the established multispecialty dental clinic, Al Mubarakiya Dental Center.
Why did you initially pursue Dentistry for your higher education?
My father really wished for one of his daughters to become a doctor, and he was my main supporter from the start of my journey.
Did you feel a great pressure placed upon you to achieve more in your career as the first Kuwaiti female to graduate with a dental degree?
We were five Kuwaiti ladies who attempted to study dentistry, and I was the first to graduate with a fellow female colleague in 1970. At the time, I felt extremely pressured because being a female doctor, let alone a dentist, in Kuwait was considered a very strange notion to the public. I used to work at different clinics, and when patients were confronted with a female Kuwaiti dentist, many reacted adversely at first. I had to prove myself as a Kuwaiti female and a qualified dentist.
Do you feel like you reached your career goal in establishing Al Mubarakiya Dental Center?
After almost 24 years of public service, I figured I should start my own small practice; I deserved to give my self a chance. My transition was very fast, and I had established my first practice, which was much smaller, immediately at a time when there was a lack of private dental services available. It was always my personal goal to grow my practice into a dental center. Expanding is a huge step, and with the encouragement of my loyal client base, friends and family, I took the next step forward.
Do you believe that it is important to better educate and train dentists about the latest techniques in dental studies?
I always support my team to go for any additional training they feel would better their career and future, and this in the long run, has truly paid off in building a sustainable and successful team.
Do the dentists at the center educate patients?
Of course, I make sure that doctors are always communicating with the patients. That is after all, the most important aspect of earning your patient’s trust. Even though we provide our patients with plenty of educational brochures for them to read, doctors are trained to communicate with patients. When patients read our brochures, they come to the doctor with questions, and even when they don’t, the doctors are supposed to ensure that the patient understands his dental condition and what needs done every step of the way.
How has Al Mubarakiya Dental Center improved across the years?
Since 2004, we’ve expanded our services, modernized our medical equipment, and furthered the knowledge of our team to include new services like orthodontics and implants. Also, we now have a secondary branch in Egaila.
What is the most important quality that you feel separates Al Mubarakiya Dental Center from its competitors?
I believe it is the genuine relationship between patient and doctor, and the familial atmosphere at our clinic, it makes people come back for repeat visits. We’re also very conscious to offer expert dental care at affordable prices, as the flexibility of our pricing structure at our clinic makes it accessible to everyone. This truly separates us from the rest, as we don’t wish to pressure the patient more in the hardened economic conditions we live in now. Sometimes, prices scare off the patients and that would lead to greater health risks that I wish to avoid. As doctors, we are supposed to help people.
As an established Doctor, and high-powered businesswoman, what do you do to relax?
Traveling is my only release. I love it! I always worry too much about my work and family, and only when I actually leave the country, I am able to finally relax.
For more information on Al-Mubarakiya Dental Center, please visitmubarakiya-dc.com, or follow them on Twitter at
@mubarakiya_dc. Please call the Center in Salmiya at 2563 0508 / 509 and 2384 6111 / 222 for the Egaila branch.