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Public Health Dentistry-HOD Desk

Public health dentistry is a unique discipline of dental sciences. It considers prevention of oral diseases, promotion of oral health and providing treatment for oral diseases at community level as the core objective. Prevention is the corner stone of dental public health and the major emphasis is placed on primary prevention, preventing disease even before its onset. This is a holistic and also very cost effective approach. The discipline of dental public health draws a lot from other allied disciplines like Social Sciences, Managerial Sciences and Administrative Sciences.

Oral health care services and Oral health research at community level are the priority areas as identified for work in the department. Teaching and learning public health competencies through self directed learning and experiential learning are the core activities in the department.  Different methods of teaching and learning are adopted in order to reach the students and also the community. Apart from regular lectures, practical and clinical teaching sessions, the department also conducts

  • Problem based learning sessions
  • Case based learning sessions
  • Concept Mapping
  • Buzz Sessions while doing lectures
  • Project based learning activities
  • Collaborative learning through field activities

Constructivism and Constructionism are the two fundamental educational concepts which are promoted in the learning activities. Students are posted to work in rural setting, industrial setting, general hospital setting through the peripheral centres and urban centre affiliated to the department and college. Department has four peripheral centres namely,

  • Peripheral Oral Health Centre, PHC, Bilichodu, Davangere(Rural Centre)
  • Peripheral Oral Health Centre, CHC, Malebennur, Davangere(Rural Centre)
  • Grasim Industrial Hospital, Grasim Industries, Harihara, Davangere(Industrial Health Centre)
  • Dental Wing, CG Hospital, District Hospital, Davangere(Urban Health Centre)

Faculty members, post graduate students and the internees are posted to these centres either regularly or periodically (Once in a week) to deliver health care services to the target population. Basic oral health care services like screening and diagnostic services, emergency treatment services, scaling and polishing of teeth, simple restorations, chair side oral health education and referral services are provided to the patients who visit these centres. All these services are provided on free of cost basis to all these patients at the respective centres. Those patients referred from these centres to the Bapuji Dental College and Hospital also receive a majority of treatments at free of cost and few modalities of treatment at a subsidized cost. Many patients referred from the peripheral centres receive treatment in the department of public health dentistry as the department has facilities to provide some restorative and rehabilitative care.

Dental camps are regular activities of the department. Voluntary Health Organisations, NGOs, Charity Foundations, Educational Institutions and Service Organisations request the department for conducting treatment and screening camps. On request camps and school dental programs are conducted regularly. Camps for special select groups like blind children, differently able children, destitutes, Orphans and aged people are also conducted. Certain institutions of this kind are also adopted under MOUs. Periodic visits are given to such centres and care is being provided.  MDU (Mobile Dental Unit) and the College Bus are utilised for reaching population residing at a distance from the College. The theme is to ----- “Take dentistry to the footsteps of the people”. The whole idea is to make health care available, accessible, appropriate and acceptable. Students are exposed to different kinds of learning environment which makes learning more experiential, interesting and challenging to the students.

The department is adequately staffed. There are three professors, three readers and one senior lecturer. In addition there is a Biostatistician attached to the college and the department. A dental technician and a dental hygienist serve the department in their own capacities. The faculty are actively engaged in learning new skills and expanding knowledge base by attending CDEs, workshops and doing additional courses as value addition. Multiple faculty members have attended short term courses offered by CMC, Vellore, University of Manipal and NIMHANS to learn epidemiological skills and statistical analysis skills. The HOD has successfully completed PGDHPE in the KLE University, in collaboration with University of Illinois, Chicago. One of the Readers is actively pursuing PhD from another university as an external candidate. The HOD is pursuing MPhil from another university as an external candidate.

Every year in September-October the department regularly conducts a workshop on health research methodology and health statistics. The workshop is organised and conducted by the internal resource persons from the staff of the department and few alumni of the department. PG students and faculty from our college and various other medical colleges and dental colleges across the country have received the benefits of the program. This is an annual event since 2005. This program is assigned credit points by the Karnataka Dental Council. The feedback provided by the delegates was always found to be very encouraging and complimenting. The faculty of the department are frequently invited by several other medical, dental and other life sciences colleges as resource persons to deliver guest lectures, conduct workshops in the area of – Research Methodology, Biostatistics, Scientific Writing, Bioethics, Practice Management and Personal Development. In 2014 the HOD was invited by the WHO Regional office for South East Asia as an expert committee member to actively contribute for a meeting in New Delhi on the topic of integrating oral diseases with NCDs agenda in South East Asia.
The department believes in perpetually creating and sustaining learning environment, research climate and service attitude. Students are taught and also facilitated to learn through various educational instructional strategies. Students are provided a free and liberal hand to assess the educational activities and provide sincere feedback. Self assessment of teaching sessions by the faculty is a regular practice.  Students are also assessed impartially and slow learners, under performers are trained under remedial drills. Faculty strive intensely for improving the quality of student assessment because we know that ---- ‘Assessment drives learning’

Conducting research is another area of high importance for the department. In addition to PG research there are several ongoing UG research projects. The UG students were encouraged to take up ICMR-STS research projects. Multiple UG students have successfully completed ICMR-STS research projects and submitted to ICMR. They were accepted and also funds were released by the ICMR. One of the UG students presented her research in the Annual ICMR Conference. The department has the unique credit of having been granted a WHO-GOI research (Funded) during 2007 and 2008. Our department of BDCH carries the credit of being first private dental college of India to have been awarded the WHO research project. The report of the project was published under CAPP of WHO website. Community based research with high degree of public utility is the focus area of research in the department. The department has efficiently integrated doing research with teaching research.   
Department attempts relentlessly to harmonize and integrate teaching-learning activities with community service and community based research. We know that the goal is far ahead, we are glad that we are on track.

DR. NAGESH L