Simultaneously with the establishment of the Dentistry Department at the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje, in 1959 began the lectures on oral and periodontal diseases. Initially, the whole teaching activity was carried out through two institutes, one of which taught the subject. Later this institute becomes Oral and Periodontal Diseases Department. The Department’s beginnings are marked by a range of staffing and spatial problems, but on the other hand, enthusiasm and dedication were enormously high. The first year, the theoretical classes were conducted by D-r Zelezarov, later assisted by Asst. Prof.Dr. Sc Dzajikj, Asst. Prof.Dr. Sc Teodosijevikj and Asst. Prof.Dr. Sc Kremzhar from the Faculty of Dentistry in Belgrade.
Rapid development of the Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases occurs in the early sixties, as then, assistant Dr. Blagorodna Lazarevska started working at the Department. She is considered to be the founder of educational, health and scientific activities held at the Department. With ambition and self-indulgence, she organized the practical classes and gradually modernized the theory. Soon, Asst. Dr. Liljana Miloshevska was assigned as her first assistant .
Initially, theoretical classes were organized in the amphitheaters of the Faculty of Medicine, and the practical work was held in the gymnasium of then newly built Provisorium II. At the same time, the personnel was additionally upgraded with new staff, so in 1970 and the early eighties, Dr. Vangel Dimitrovski, Dr. Marija Nakova, Dr. Metodi Simonovski, Dr. Zlatanka Belazelkoska, and later Dr. Ana Minovska, Dr. Mirjana Popovska and Dr. Elizabeta Atanasovska were included on the list of employees.
Although conditions were modest and the number of associates low, prof. Dr. Sc Blagorodna Lazarevska, as a responsible lecturer of the subject and its true founder, afterwards the Head of the Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases, until 1990 set the foundations of today’s Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases.
In 1974, with the construction of two modern facilities, the Department of Oral Diseases acquires its own premises and becomes a Clinic of Oral and Periodontal Diseases which serves as a teaching base for the Department with the same name, where even today practical teaching is still performed for students, trainees, Master’s degree and PhD students.
With the spatial expansion, the teaching and supporting staff did not only constantly increase, but they also constantly upgraded with new knowledge and skills.
Within the original Department of Oral Diseases, from the very beginning, there was a hematological laboratory, which, with the support of Prof. Dr. Sc Lazarevska was developed by Dr. Krasimira Tasevska. Later Liljana Angelovska joins the team, a graduate from the Biochemistry study programme. In addition to the daily laboratory services, this laboratory served as a place where practical work was carried out: microscopic and cytological research.
After Prof. Dr. Sc Lazarevska retired, the Department changed several Heads, each of whom contributed to its development. In 2003, the subject of oral and periodontal diseases was divided into two subjects: periodontology and oral pathology. The Department introduced subjects such as: oral biochemistry, oral hygiene, focal infections and others.
The Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases at the Faculty of Dentistry in Skopje, using the eponymous clinic of the same name as a teaching base, is located on the third floor of the facility PHI University Clinical Center “St. Pantelejmon ”- Skopje. It has one office for practical work and with 10 dental chairs, one routine 3 seats workstationpost, one operating room, sterilization room and biochemical laboratory.
Educational-scientific and health activity
The Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases organizes lectures for dental students, trainees, second cycle students and PhD students. At the same time, the Department is a teaching base for students attending undergraduate study programs for professional dental technicians and specialized dental nurses – oral hygienists.
The manner of theoretical teaching at the Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases has undergone a positive change in the last twenty years. Today it is carried out in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System, which is successfully implemented at the Department.
Students, through various forms of engagement, participate in the class activities. They have the opportunity to organize the class, develop a discussion on a particular topic, in order to more easily and thoroughly master the content of the lecture.
Today, the Faculty of Dentistry, hence the Department, has modern teaching tools in order to provide high quality theoretical lectures. These include: computers, LCD projectors and cameras, thus facilitating the process of studying the intended content and provoking the interest of the students.
The practical clinical and pre-clinical courses are performed in the practice rooms at the Clinic for Oral Diseases and Periodontics in the biochemical laboratory. Here, the students attending the dental study program, through practical work in the field of oral hygiene make their first contact with the patient and experience the first dental practice.
Through pre-clinical practice, students learn the basics of oral physiology and biochemistry. Through clinical practice, students first establish a contact with the patient, distinguish pathological from physiological conditions, define the prognosis of the disease, and participate in the administration of the prescribed therapy. Also, within the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), in their practical work, students follow the up-to-date trends in periodontology and oral pathology, early detection of oral diseases, and they also study the indications and contraindications of laser therapy application.
In addition to undergraduate education, postgraduate and specialist education has also been organized for many years. The Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases teaches and offers training classes for specialties in the field of periodontology and oral pathology, which have arisen from the former specialist studies – oral and periodontal diseases.
Postgraduate and specialist students, besides all conservative and physical methods, are also trained to perform a surgical treatment of periodontal disease.
The students of the Faculty of Dentistry, besides their daily educational activities, are also organizers and participants of student congresses. Student researches that were developed under the mentorship of the Department’s teaching staff in 2002, 2009, 2013, and 2018 were awarded the first prize. One of the student research prepared at the Department at an international congress in Slovenia won two first awards, both by students and by teachers who were in the expert committee that evaluated the research. Of course, the benefit of student participation has enriched the practical experience and introduced the scientific and research work at the Department.
In 2002, at the Faculty of Dentistry in Skopje undergraduate studies commenced aimed at professional dental technicians and professional dental nurses, where the Department participates in the creation of study programs and practical realization of the lectures.
Apart the undergraduate, postgraduate and specialist studies, the Department has also participated in the realization of the continuous education process of doctors in dentistry / dental medicine.
In the past ten years the Department has published textbooks, teaching aids, books (14) used in the teaching process of the intended curriculum. During the past decade of the Department, 35 Master’s degrees, 11 doctorates (12 more are in preparation), and three research projects have been created.
Teaching and research staff
Today, the Department of Oral and Periodontal Diseases has 11 professors, one senior scientific associate and one assistant:
- Prof. Dr. Sc Kiro Ivanovski
- Prof. Dr. Sc Mirjana Popovska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Silvana Georgieva
- Prof. Dr. Sc Maja Pandilova
- Prof. Dr. Sc Snezana Pesevska
- Prof. Dr.Sc Aneta Atanasovska Stojanovska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Katarina Dirjanska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Vera Radojkova Nikolovska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Stevica Ristoska
- Prof. Dr. Sc Kristina Mitikj
- Prof. Dr. Sc Emilija Leveska Stefanovska
- Senior Research Associate Dr. Sonja Mindova
- Asst. Dr. Bojan Poposki