The beginnings of the developmental cycle of the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry date back to 1959/60, when it functioned as an integral part of the Dentistry Department at the Medical Faculty in Skopje, and was taught by the professor of dental pathology, then Asst. Prof. Dr. Sc Ivan Tavchiovski until the selection of a professor of pediatric and preventive dentistry, the university lecturer, Dr. Ljubinka Necheva. The Department of Pediatric Dentistry became a Clinic and the Dentistry Department progressed into a Dentistry Faculty in 1977/78. In 1965, Dr. Mila Mircheva and Dr. Darinka Njego were employed; in 1974 Dr. Snezana Iljovska and Dr. Mile Carchev were employed and in 1975 they were joined by Dr. Bona Bajraktarova. Prof. Dr. Sc Ljubinka Necheva and Prof. Dr. Sc Mila Mirceva, as its founders, have undoubtedly contributed extensively in the development of the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry. Within their responsibilities, they were highly focused on the advancement of theoretical education and set as their main task the creation of a new team of employees that were intended to undertake quality scientific and professional development. This department’s staffing policy has soon produced positive results. Its capacity was constantly increasing offering young, promising staff.
The first Head of the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry was Prof. Dr. Sc Ljubinka Necheva, and in 1996 this position was given to Prof. Dr. Sc Mila Mircheva. After prof. Dr. Sc Mircheva retired, the Department was headed by Prof. Dr. Sc Snezana Iljovska and Prof. Dr. Sc Marija Stevanovikj.
Since 2018 the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry has been run by Prof. Dr. Sc Elizabeta Gjorgievska.
Spatial capacity and technical equipment
The beginnings of the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry date back to 1959/60, within the Department of Dentistry at the Faculty of Medicine, when the practical work intended for this subject took place in the so-called “Provisorium number 1”. After moving to the newly built facility at the Dental Clinical Center in 1975, the Department obtained new, modern facilities.
In the course of time, the technical equipment has been constantly improving, so that the Department currently has the most up-to-date KaVo dental equipment, set up in two halls, one of which has ten dental chairs, and the second one has three dental chairs, with additional sterilization room.
The general anesthesia room is equipped with a DrägerFabius Tiro general anesthesia machine, a defibrillator, a surgical aspirator, and a two bed day hospital.
The department has a modern diode laser which can be used for many indications at young age.
Educational and health activity
It is an undisputed fact that the development of the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry during these 60 years, in terms of professional scientific advancement and modernization with new technological, technical and scientific disciplines, is constantly on the rise.
From the very beginnings of the Faculty, within the undergraduate studies, this Department has been conducting practical and theoretical lectures in the field of pediatric and preventive dentistry.
The introduction of the European Credit Transfer System at the Faculty of Dentistry in 2003 provides an opportunity for a more objective and transparent evaluation of student achievements. The Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, as an integral part of the Faculty of Dentistry, has implemented this system in its education. This will standardize students’ knowledge and create conditions for recognition of these studies in the countries of the European Union. The credits that students provide in order to pass the exams depend on both the volume of work covered by one subject and its correlation with the total volume of work necessary to complete a whole academic year. In this context, the education is of an interactive type, which means organizing lectures, practical work, attending seminars, preparing seminar assignments etc. The ultimate long-term effect of this system is the closer cooperation with educational institutions from the European Union, striving to enable our students to be an integral part of the educational process in the modern European societies.
Here, as part of the education of the students enrolled at the Faculty of Dentistry, the student programs for the specialized dental nurses and dental technicians, the following subjects are taught: preventive dentistry, nutrition and oral health, radiology in dentistry and dental public health.
Within the framework of the scientific activity, this Department performs postgraduate studies and doctoral dissertations (appendix).
The activities of the Department include postgraduate education of trainees in the same field. Within this framework, today in the whole territory of the Republic of North Macedonia there are 109 specialists in pediatric and preventive dentistry, and 8 specialists in primary dental care graduated from this Department, responsible for the implementation of dental care in children.
Since 1998, the Department of General Anesthesia and Resuscitation has been operating within the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, which treats, in particular, dentophobic and special needs patients. This allows these specific population groups to have adequate dental treatment that was previously unavailable.
In the application aspect, special attention is paid to the treatment of traumatic injuries in children, the most modern methods are used in the treatment of diseases and traumatic injuries of deciduous and immature permanent teeth. Moreover, in the focus of the Department’s work have also been patients with systemic diseases. Immunological aspects of pathological changes in the dental tissues in deciduous and permanent teeth are also studied.
A specific quality in student education is the use of a diode laser. The education is carried out using state-of-the-art restorative materials. What is more, the Department conducts research to improve their performance and biocompatibility.
Scientific, research and publishing activities
Publishing activity is an extremely important part in the professional work of the Department. The employees themselves are authors of a number of papers that have been published in both domestic and influential foreign magazines. In addition, a number of textbooks, manuals and monographs have been published serving as teaching aids for students, postgraduates and trainees (appendix).
The staff of the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry are regular and active participants in national, regional and world congresses in this field (FDI, ORCA, IADR, BaSS, EADPH, MSD, etc.).
Employee activities include participation in several national (7) and international projects. (appendix).
In the current existence of the Department, the experience of the medical staff is enriched by numerous study visits to several renowned universities and institutes abroad, among which it is worth mentioning and pointing out the faculties of New York, Hull in Tirol, Lyon, Paris, London, Zurich, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Bonn, Berlin, Antwerp, Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Nish and others.
In recent years there has been collaboration with several related organizations, and of particular importance is the ongoing research relation with the University of Greenwich, UK, where several doctoral dissertations have already been written or are currently being prepared.
With dignity we can conclude that the staffing potential of the Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry is highly prepared speaking of professional and scientific readiness. The Department’s advancement is taking place with extraordinary pace following all the latest developments and innovations in this field worldwide. All this is in line with the higher education in the country which strives to get closer to the requirements and norms of higher education in the world.
Teaching and research staff
Over the last past years, the number of staff has not increased, but the staff has been constantly improving, so that today, the department’s professional scientific and educational capacity participating in accomplishing the polyvalent activity, is comprised of seven professors and three senior scientific associates.