Department of Public Health Dentistry

Oral Medicine and Radiology

The Department of Public Health Dentistry adopts a Holistic Approach in rendering services to both the Urban and Rural Population. It strives to enhance the Oral Health of the Community by training the budding Dentists to render Preventive and Treatment Oral Health Care services especially in the rural areas. Since the inception of the Department in 1988, several health programs have been conducted, such as Oral Health and General Health awareness programs, Oral screening and Treatment camps comprising of Diagnosis, Oral Prophylaxis, Restorations, Extractions and Prosthodontic Rehabilitations on a regular basis to facilitate Oral Health Promotion.

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Research Thrust Areas

The following are the Research thrust areas of the Department

  • Tobacco Control
  • Oral Cancer
  • School Oral Health education
  • Oral Microbiology
  • Preventive Dentistry


The Department takes pride in managing 18 of the 23 Rural Satellite Dental Centres of Nitte (Deemed to be University) which are located in districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chickmagalur and Kodagu. These centres provide a complete spectrum of treatment from Diagnosis to Complete Prosthodontic Rehabilitation with specialty treatment provided at free of cost/ nominal cost.

In addition, the Department organizes and conducts various community oral health programs such as oral screening and dental treatment camps on regular basis in collaboration with NGOs in rural/ semi-urban areas, schools, orphanages, tribal areas and old age homes. As a part of School oral health program, schools are adopted and incremental and comprehensive dental care is provided which includes preventive oral health care services. Oral health care services provided at the dental camps include oral diagnosis, oral health education, tobacco cessation counselling, pit &fissure sealant application, topical fluoride application, oral prophylaxis, extractions and atraumatic restorative treatment. Patients are referred to the Dental College or Rural Health Centres for follow-up or further specialized treatment. The Department also conducts House to House Survey and Assessment of Oral health status of the community. As of September 2023, about 15,84,628 individuals have benefited from the oral health services provided through the rural satellite centres and 4,62,102 have benefited from the outreach programs.

Besides this, the Department also observes days of International or National importance such as World Cancer Day, World Oral Health Day, World Health Day, World No Tobacco Day, National Public Health Dentistry Day, World Environment Day, National Tooth brushing Day, World AIDS day etc. where the faculty and students organize and actively participate in programs to create awareness among the general public regarding maintenance of health and oral health.

National Oral Health Programme (NOHP)

The District Health and Family Welfare Department, Dakshina Kannada, District Reproductive and Child Health Department,Dakshina Kannada and National Oral Health Program, Dakshina Kannada in association with A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore conducted a training program for the newly appointed Community Health Officers of Dakshina Kannada on 11th March 2022. 30 Community Health Officers (CHO) were benefitted from this training programme.



  • U Sumithra Ramanath Bhat Award for the Best Community Outreach Program 2014 and 2016. This is an annual award conferred by the Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry to recognize Institutions excelling in community outreach activities.
  • Dr. D N Kapoor Award for the “Best Community Dentistry Project” by the International College of Dentistry (2015).
  • Dr. Kedar N Rustagi Award for Best Contribution in Promoting Oral Health in the Public and Providing Dental Treatment to the Rural and Underprivileged people in the Society by the International College of Dentistry (2016).
  • Dr. DN Kapoor Award for the “Best Community Dentistry Project” by the International College of Dentistry (2017).
  • Sushruta Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Institution in Providing Rural Service Activities Awarded by Indian Dental Association 2017
  • ‘Best Department of Year 2017’ by Guident Awards.
  • ‘Most Proactive Department of Public Health Dentistry 2018’ by Guident Awards.