It was in 1925, the Colonial government at that time recognizing the dental health needs of the general public, the first Dental clinic was established in the Colombo Hospital. Dr. W.Balendra was appointed as the Dental Surgeon. But since he had medical qualifications as well, he was designated as the Medical Officer in charge of the dental clinic (Later Institute) which is a title remained until very recently. The dental clinics of Galle and Kandy were established in 1937 with the appointment of Dr A.E.Daviot and Dr Sam Gunawardena respectively. They were had medical qualifications and dental qualifications obtained from the United Kingdom. Since there were no training programs for dentists till 1933, Dr W Balendra trained three Apothecaries to do extractions and scaling. The Colombo clinic continued for nearly 15 years with their assistance. They were registered as dentists by the Ceylon Medical Council. The Ceylon Dental Hospital and School commenced in 1933 which started a dental training course under the auspices of the Ceylon Medical College. This course commenced with 6 medical graduates who were to follow a further two years training with a view to grant a license to practice Dental Surgery. Some of them joined the government service and were appointed to dental clinics established in Jaffna, Batticaloa, and Kurunegala.
The Dental Institute, Colombo is one of the premiere multidisciplinary care providers such as outpatient and in-patient care. It provides preventive care, curative care, promotive care, ambulatory care, aesthetic care rehabilitation services, and emergency services to the population of nearly five million.
Director/ Dental Institute
Deputy Director Dental Institute
We achieve these objectives through skilled specialized health care personnel attached to:-
1. Oral & maxillofacial surgery units (OMF units)– attending emergencies, management of oro-facial trauma (mainly due to RTA) and oro-facial infections, surgical correction of cleft lips / palate, major cancer surgeries and surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth.
2. Orthodontic unit - treating malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both.
3. Restorative Dentistry units - do integrated management of diseases of the teeth and their supporting structures and the rehabilitation of the dentition to functional and aesthetic requirements of the individual. Restorative dentistry units encompass the dental specialties of endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics.
4. Community Dentistry units. / Oral Health Promotion Unit - aims to develop self-empowering, targeted, best practice models in resource constrained settings for reducing the high burden of caries and periodontal disease, among population groups in, Sri Lanka. A series of activities are conducted in the Population Oral Health Promotion Unit, to achieve this objective:
a. Conducting a Preventive Dental Clinic for toddlers and children aged 1 year to 10 years in the Dental Institute, Colombo.
b. Oral health promotion for pregnant mothers in the antenatal clinics.
c. Conducting oral health promotion programmes for diverse population groups in different settings such as schools, child development centers, occupational settings, Homes for elders, social events on health and oral health promotion, Health camps in selected areas.
d. Capacity building of preschool teachers and health workers for oral health promotion among high risk groups in Colombo area.
5. Outpatient Department (OPD)– All first visit patients seeking treatment at the dental institute will be screened and treated at the OPD clinics (13 Rooms) and cases suitable for teaching / specialty care needed will be directed towards relevant consultant units.
6. Emergency Treatment Unit (ETU) - Emergency services will be maintained for 24hrs and patients requiring indoor treatment would be admitted.