The beginning of the implementation of the Law establishing the Dentistry Department within the Faculty of Medicine at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, also marked the commencement of dental pathology classes (former title of the subject) in the academic year 1959/60, at the Institute. At the Institute classes for three subjects were organized: Dental Pathology, Oral Diseases and Pediatric Dentistry, Asst. Prof. Dr. Sc. Ivan Tavchiovski being assigned to teach the same.
At its very beginning, this Department was named as the Department of Dental Pathology. The first Head of the Department of Dental Pathology was Prof. Dr. Ivan Tavchiovski, who is the founder and organizer of the Department. Prof. Dr. Tavchiovski was also the Head of the Dental and Endodontic Clinic and held this position until his retirement in 1988. At the same time, he played a significant role in adopting curricula and forming the future teaching personnel and other expert staff. Practical classes at their beginning were assigned to the assistants Dr. Nevena Tomcheva and Dr. Ivan Minev, who were later, in 1963 joined by Dr. Nada Cvetkovikj.
The expansion of the study groups led to increased necessity of additional teaching staff. Therefore, in 1965, Dr. Risto Rafajlovski and Dr. Jordan Stojanoski were included in the teaching team, and in 1968 Dr. Miroslava Stevanovic also joined the team. In 1972, the team of assistants increased in number, welcoming two more members: Dr. Ljupka Dimkova (Matovska) and Dr. Slavjanka Odzjaklievska.
From year to year, the Department of Dental Pathology has been steadily growing in the area of teaching, science and health, thanks to the expansion of the teaching staff, its professional knowledge and dedication.
As a result of great creative efforts, enthusiasm and unselfish commitment by the generations in the past decades till the present day, the Department of Dental Pathology has become a recognizable and respected factor in the dental science and practice in the Republic of North Macedonia. That is why, both the remaining generations and those yet to come will always have to piously respect the individual and joint efforts of their predecessors, who have selflessly accepted the challenges occurring through time.
After the retirement of Asst. Prof. Dr. Sc Tavchiovski, Dr. Risto Rafajlovski took over the role of the Head of the Department. From 1992 to 2005, the Department of Dental and Endodontic Diseases was headed by Prof. Dr. Sc Miroslava Stevanovic. In 2005, the position of Head of the Department was assigned to Prof. Dr. Sc Ljupka Matovska. From January to September 2013, the post of Acting Head of the Department was assigned to Prof. Dr. Sc Lidija Popovska. From September 2013 to November 2017, the Department of Dental and Endodontic Diseases was led by Prof. Dr. Sc Sonja Apostolska. Since November 2017, the Head of the Department of Dental and Endodontic Diseases has been Prof. Dr. Sc Vasilka Rendzova.
Educational, scientific and health- related activity
The teaching at the Department of Dental Diseases and Endodontics at the Faculty of Dentistry – Skopje, for dental students, trainees, postgraduate and doctoral students, takes place at the clinic bearing the same name, which is also used as a teaching base. It is located on the second floor in the building of the PHI University Clinical Center “St. Panteleimon”. It has two modern, fully equipped clinical halls for practical classes for dental students, equipped with ten working units. Also an integral part of the Department is the routine room with two dental chairs and an additional sterilization room. For the needs of the practical pre-classes activities, there is a laboratory equipped with ten contemporary phantom studio models. Such technical equipment fully simulates the clinical conditions and provides effective prerequisites so that the students initially acquire practical skills.
Since 2002, undergraduate studies have been organized for professional dental technicians and specialized dental nurses – oral hygienologists for the following subjects: dental pathology, reconstructive dental procedures, ergonomics and dental pharmacology.
Currently, undergraduate studies at the Department are carried out as per two curricula: the five-year curriculum and the integrated six-year curriculum. Theoretical classes involve lectures with interactive student participation, preparation and presentation on a particular topic by students at seminars and consultation classes. At the lectures the students are introduced to the subject matter stipulated in the given curriculum.
The practical work of the Department of Dental Diseases and Endodontics stipulates preclinical and clinical practical work. These practical work teach students practical ways of diagnosing and repairing diseased hard dental tissues, as well as principles of treatment in modern endodontics. In addition to the daily outpatient interventions, students are introduced to the modern materials as well, techniques and methods of work used worlwide.
In cooperation with the auxiliary teaching staff, the students are introduced to the scientific research work by preparations of topics from the respective field which are then presented at local and international student congresses.
Simultaneously with the undergraduate teaching activity, the Department of Dental Diseases and Endodontics offers postgraduate classes, doctoral studies, as well as an educational program for specialists in the field of endodontics and restorative dentistry.
Scientific and research activity
The scientific activity of the Department is an integral part of its overall work through preparation of scientific papers, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, scientific research projects (domestic and international).
In the last ten years, at the Department 2 master’s degrees have been defended, five doctorates, and additional three more doctorates are being prepared. In addition, two scientific research projects have been prepared, one domestic work titled “Modern methods for conservative rehabilitation of destroyed teeth”, approved by Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje , and one international, titled “Correlation between oral hygiene, saliva pH and dental plaque in the frequency of caries and its control, through contemporary preventive measures in two different countries, Macedonia and Greece”, funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The research work of this Department over the last ten years incorporates current topics related to endodontic therapy such as the optimization of endodontically treated teeth and the factors that affect its quality by examining the micro-permeability of definitive filling in vivo and in vitro conditions. Scientific knowledge of the effects of ozone and lasers on the success of endodontic therapy has been expanded, so is the role of machine endodontics in endodontic treatment. The interest for research activities was also focused on the examination of modern materials and techniques in the therapy of perforated root canals. The problem related to the pathohistological changes of the pulp tissue caused by the application of modern materials for direct pulp coverage has been substantially elaborated.
Several studies in the field of dental materials have been performed. Bond strength of the restoration materials with the hard dental tissues and occurrence of microleakage during the application of different adhesive systems, as well as different application techniques (layers and bulk) of the composite materials were examined. What is more, following the trends in modern dentistry, we worked on improving the techniques for achieving maximum aesthetics with composite restorations, application of composite pins in the conservative treatment of endodontically treated teeth with large coronary destruction, as well as techniques for application of the latest composite laminates.
In past years, the Department of Dental Diseases and Endodontics has collaborated with related faculties from the neighboring countries and the wider region, in variety of ways. This cooperation has contributed and still contributes to the exchange of experiences and the staff upgrading.
The continuous scientific research activity has resulted in the publication of numerous scientific papers that have a significant contribution to the development of dentistry, but also to the professional training of future dental staff.
In the past ten years, the Department of Dental Diseases and Endodontics has published textbooks, scripts, and monographs used in the implementation of the envisaged teaching content.
Teaching and research staff
Currently, the creative and educational potential of the Department consists of five professors and one senior research associate:
- Prof. Dr. Sc Lidija Popovska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Sonja Apostolska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Vasilka Rendzova
- Prof. Dr. Sc Ilijana Muratovska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Marina Eftimoska
- Senior Research Associate Pavlina Aleksova