After the establishment of the Medical Faculty in Skopje in 1947 and the growing need for the introduction of organized and professional health care, in 1948/49 the Clinic for Lips, Dental and Jaw Diseases was established at the Medical Faculty in Skopje. The clinics were located in 4 premises. In 1959, the Department of Dentistry was established at the Medical Faculty of the University of Skopje lecturing three subjects: dental (oral) surgery, maxillofacial surgery and jaw and teeth orthopedics, taught by the Head of the Clinic, Prof. Dr. Sc Dimitar Smilev.
The Department of Orthodontics was established during the academic year 1959/60, simultaneously when the Department for Correction of Jaws and Teeth grew into the a dental depsrtment at the Medical Faculty in Skopje and in addition to the health activity, it is also included in the educational and scientific activity.
The first lectures on the subject Teeth and Jaws Orthopedics were taught by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sc Dimitar Smilev. His associates were assistants Dr. Jovanka Kozarova and Dr. Simka Serafimova. In the period from 1964 to 1966, the lecturing was performed by prof. Dr. Ivan Bikar with his assistant Dr. Mitic from Belgrade, and from 1966 to 1968 again prof. Dr. Dimitar Smilev.
Dr. Simka Serafimova has been the Head of the Department since 1965, and in 1968 she was selected as a university lecturer, and is the first lecturer in the subject Orthopedics of Jaws and Teeth. Employed staff during that period in the Department were Dr. Nadezhda Gjorchuleska Bajraktarova, Dr. Ilija Ilievski, Dr. Nadezhda Kofkarova and Dr. Risto Karkalashev.
In 1974 Dr. Todor Bojadziev joined the team, being followed by Dr. Juliana Gjorgova and Dr. Marija Zuzhelova in 1975. Dr. Simka Serafimova was elected the first Head of the Department of Orthodontics in 1975, and she was also a responsible professor for the subject Orthopedics of Teeth and Jaws, until 1984, when she retired.
Over the years, the teaching staff of the Department has been continuously supplemented with new one: Dr. Lidija Kanurkova, Dr. Vaska Vandevska, Dr. Emilija Lazareva, Dr. Maja Pop Stefanova-Trposka, Dr. Bojana Daskalova, Dr. Elena Petrova, Dr. Robert Janev, Dr. Margita Smileva Nacevska, Dr. Gabriela Kjurcieva Chuchkova, Dr. Biljana Dzipunova, Dr. Natasha Tosheska Spasova, Dr. Cvetanka Bajraktarova Mishevska, Dr. Biljana Bogdanovska, Dr. Marija Maneva, PhD, Stipica Popovski, Dr. Jasna Petrovska, Dr. Irena Gavrilovikj, and Dr. Nenad Simonovski.
In 1984, Prof. Dr. Sc Todor Bojadziev was elected the Head of the Department of Orthodontics who held that position until 2004. From 2005 to 2012, the Department was headed by Prof. Dr. Sc Marija Zuzhelova, and from 2012 until today the head of the Department of Orthodontics has been Prof. Dr. Sc Lidija Kanurkova.
The teaching and auxiliary teaching staff, upgrade themselves in the world’s top orthodontic centers and regularly follow the professional literature and modern achievements in orthodontics. They are also authors of numerous papers, published in domestic and foreign journals, mentors of student topics and active participants in congresses, symposia and educational courses in the country and abroad. The Department of Orthodontics has published several textbooks for education of students, postgraduates and trainees.
Today, the Orthodontics Clinic has two clinical rooms, a sterilization room, a dental laboratory and a separate room for spillages to obtain studio and working models for making mobile and fixed orthodontic appliances. The Orthodontics Clinic manufactures all types of mobile acrylic appliances (active and functional), Twin block apparatus, Bionators, Frankel apparatus, opturators for children with cleft lip and palate, as well as all modern intraoral and extraoral fixative orthopedic apparatus (palatal expanders, palate splitting device, pendulum appliance, Headgear, Delaire’s mask, lip bumper).
The existing modern approach in the treatment of all dent facial and skeletal irregularities and at the same time the execution of the entire educational and scientific process is made possible due to the fully equipped Department and Clinic of Orthodontics both with modern equipping devices and professional personnel.
Teaching-scientific and health activity
The Department of Orthodontics conducts a continuous educational process promoted and accredited by the Faculty of Dentistry. Since 2003/4, according to the European Credit Transfer System, classes have been held for dental students, dental technicians and professional dental nurses – oral hygienists in the subjects Orthodontics I, Orthodontics II (compulsory subjects) and Preoperative Orthodontic Treatment (elective) for the study program of the first cycle of studies for doctors of dental medicine, Orthodontics I and Orthodontics II for the study program for professional dental technicians, and Orthodontics (compulsory subject) and Medical documentation (elective subject) for the study program for professional dental nurses – oral hygienists.
At the Department of Orthodontics, classes are held for trainees and students of II and III cycle of studies. Within the scientific activity of the Department, a number of master’s theses and doctoral dissertations have been defended.
The theoretical educational process is organized through lectures, interactive teaching, seminar papers, optional activities and consultations. The practical work of the Department of Orthodontics is performed through preclinical and clinical exercises during which the student acquires certain practical skills.