Indian Journal of Dental Research

: 2007  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 93-

Dental education in India

B Sivapathasundharam 
 Head of the Department, Oral and Maxillo Facial Pathology, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai - 600 095, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
B Sivapathasundharam
Head of the Department, Oral and Maxillo Facial Pathology, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai - 600 095, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Sivapathasundharam B. Dental education in India.Indian J Dent Res 2007;18:93-93

How to cite this URL:
Sivapathasundharam B. Dental education in India. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2007 [cited 2022 Jun 25 ];18:93-93
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Full Text

India has more than 250 dental institutions, producing 15,000 to 20,000 BDS graduates every year. For all statistical purposes, this figure along with the existing dental practitioners apparently fulfills the World Health Organization requirement of dentist to population ratio. It is, however, unfortunate to note that there are many places in our country devoid of dental clinics, major dental hospitals or dental institutions. In India, the cost of both dental education and setting up of dental clinics is very high. This makes the young graduates opt for setting up their clinic in a bigger town or a metropolitan city to get back their investment. This mal-distribution of dentists results in overcrowding of dental practice in big towns and dentist-free state in many villages. It is disheartening to hear that a few dental graduates even prefer to work in call centers and other unrelated fields. Adding to this malady are the impending unhealthy competition among practitioners and blatant commercialization of dental healthcare in cities due to this overcrowding.

It being the fundamental right of the dental professional to have his/her practice anywhere in our country, neither the central government nor the statutory bodies can do much to address this problem. But the government and the Dental Council of India (DCI) can formulate policies in such a way that new dental institutions are encouraged in rural areas or places with no provision for public dental healthcare. This will help to increase the dental health awareness in these areas and also open up new avenues in practice opportunities for the young graduates.

It is the moral responsibility of the central government and the DCI to assure the future of thousands of BDS students graduating from various recognized institutions every year. Institutions offering postgraduate courses in dentistry and the number of postgraduate seats offered are too meager when compared to the undergraduate institutions and BDS seats offered. The year old practice of making the institutions wait for the first batch completion is not logical in the present scenario. So, new institutions that are coming up should be permitted to begin undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the same time.

We have couple of exclusive postgraduate institutions in the country that are highly ranked internationally in terms of academic excellence. In this background, exclusive postgraduate institutions should be initiated by the central government and the statutory bodies by relaxing the existing rules.

Increasing the number of postgraduate seats, starting exclusive postgraduate institutions, and introducing newer postgraduate courses alone might prevent the BDS graduate from looking for jobs in totally unrelated fields and ease the fear of future in the mind of the dental students.