For the last thirteen years, the College of Dentistry has been providing dental services to the community for the benefit of individuals and our dental students. King Khalid University places a great deal of emphasis on community service and the College of Dentistry has and will continue to do its part to serve the people and enhance the image of the university throughout the region. By providing quality medical services and related education, people's lives - especially young children - are being improved by the hard work of the faculty and students.
College of Dentistry Dean, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Shahrani, asserts that achieving and maintaining the highest standards of medical education and services is a primary objective of the program. He noted that the College of Dentistry had been awarded ISO 9001-2008 status under both American and British quality certifications. The faculty is also vigorously pursuing accreditation from the NCAAA. In addition, the faculty is actively entering into cooperation agreements and service contracts with the world's leading universities, which will enhance the effectiveness and reputation of the university.
Dean Al-Shahrani: 'Maintaining the highest standards of medical education and services is a primary objective of the program'.
The College of Dentistry operates under seven distinct departmental operations including:
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery;
- Diagnostic and Oral Biology;
- Pediatric Dentistry;
- Dental Reform;
- Dental Neurosurgery;
- Community Dental Health and Dental Education.
The College of Dentistry has five fully equipped state-of-the-art laboratories. Using these technologically advanced facilities, they have many capabilities including:
- Pathology and tissue analysis;
- Dental prostheses;
- Production and simulation.
The College of Dentistry has numerous dental assistants and other technicians on-staff who are fully qualified and well-trained in the latest procedures and techniques. They perform a wide variety of duties such as oral radiology, medical maintenance, medical waste disposal, and social services.
In the academic year 1438/1439 AH, the College of Dentistry graduated a total of 672 male students and 148 female students. We are very proud to have trained so many skilled professionals to meet the needs of our growing national population. We are very confident that our graduates will serve the Kingdom with a high-level of competence and professionalism. The College of Dentistry has formed several standing committees to support our current students and alumni in both their professional and personal pursuits to the maximum extent possible through events, exhibitions, conferences, and the like.
The College of Dentistry is also supported by the Committee of Excellence. This committee provides direct supervision and coordination between government health agencies and the university. Part of this initiative is a one-year compulsory postgraduate training program focusing on clinical skills. This particular program attracts other medical professionals from outside the Kingdom as it offers unique training opportunities in King Khalid University's world-class facilities with highly skilled faculty members.
Because of the College of Dentistry's diverse and intensive efforts, the program requires a great number of skilled professionals and trainees. This, in turn, generates a significant number of employment opportunities both directly and indirectly supporting the faculty. These opportunities are available to both men and women in various specific dentistry fields. Our trainees and graduates are also in high demand in other regions of the Kingdom and throughout the world. Our trainees and graduates, most from the Asir region, also benefit from receiving training in other parts of the world in the foremost universities and specialized institutions involved dentistry.
Dean Al-Shahrani added that King Khalid University boasts more than 375 dental clinics. Our students/trainees are provided with the latest equipment and have been serving the community at-large for more than 13 years. Since 2007, the university has treated more than 120,000 patients. Those clinics have and will continue to operate on two shifts (8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.). In addition to the clinics, the university launched mobile dental clinics in 2016 to serve the people through the region. Of note, the mobile clinic inauguration was attended by HRH Prince of the Asir.
The university's fixed and mobile clinics have significantly contributed to the public. By reducing patient loads at Ministry of Health facilities in this region, people are getting the high-quality dental services required at a faster rate. This results in overall better dental health throughout the population. It is of note that the university's clinical services include almost every specialty and service modern dentistry offers in one facility.
While the College of Dentistry is extremely busy training students and serving the public, our faculty still conducts scientific research in the applicable fields. The faculty has a standing scientific research committee, and the college is currently pursuing a research center specifically for facial and jaw disorders. This is bolstered by the College of Dentistry's training center that is accredited by the Saudi Commission for Specializations. That training center currently has 25 doctors working on advanced programs on various disciplines within the field of dentistry.
The College of Dentistry is also active in public dental health awareness. These efforts include but are not limited to:
- Mobile clinics;
- Dental disease and public deformity programs;
- Abha Children's Hospital initiative.
The College of Dentistry also works in conjunction with the Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education on outreach programs in medicine. The Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Sharia also participated. To date, more than 5,000 people have benefitted from these programs.
The College of Dentistry participated in the convoy of centers on the southern border. This outreach program was designed to provide top-quality medical services to those in the most remote regions of the province. In all, more than 250 people with various illnesses received the necessary professional medical treatment. In addition, convoy participants conducted various health education and awareness programs where more than 1,000 people received practical and timely advice on health care. This too was complemented by a similar program in Tathleth, which served almost 1,000 people.
The College of Dentistry also supported various other programs and events in the southern region such as:
- Dhahran Al-Janoub Hospital and the Southern Center with medical cadres;
- The Al-Majardah Health Awareness Programs;
- Program for the Abha Social Welfare Center for Boys;
- Abha Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center and School Health Program.
The College of Dentistry has done much to serve the community in the past and continues to do so. The College of Dentistry looks forward to doing even more in the future as part of its goal of being a leader in dental education/services and community service/engagement.