What Is Dentistry In Pakistan

Dentistry in Pakistan-Standing at the Crossroads Facing Numerous Challenges with an Uncertain Future

What Is Dentistry In Pakistan
What Is Dentistry In Pakistan 1

Pakistan is a developing country in South Asia with a population of over 220 million people. The country’s oral health is a significant concern, with the majority of the population lacking access to affordable dental care. Dentistry in Pakistan is a profession that is facing many challenges, including a shortage of dentists, a lack of resources, and inadequate dental education. This article will explore the current state of dentistry in Pakistan, including oral health sciences, dental health, oral diseases, and public health programs. We will also discuss what is dentistry in Pakistan and challenges faced by dentists, patients, and decision-makers, and possible solutions to address the issues.

Definition of Dentistry in Pakistan

Dentistry in Pakistan is the branch of healthcare that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and conditions related to the oral cavity. It involves the maintenance of oral health and hygiene through various treatments and procedures. Oral health sciences, which encompass dental health and oral health, are crucial aspects of dentistry in Pakistan. These sciences are studied at various dental colleges and universities throughout the country.

The Pakistan Dental Association (PDA) is the official body that represents the dental profession in the country. It is responsible for promoting oral health and hygiene and ensuring that dental services are available to all members of society.

Oral Diseases and Their Impact

Oral diseases such as oral cancer, mouth cancer, and soft tissue disorders are prevalent in Pakistan. The lack of awareness about these diseases and their risk factors is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. Government hospitals and health institutions need to conduct more extensive awareness campaigns to educate the public about oral diseases and their prevention.

The treatment of missing teeth and related oral diseases is another significant issue in the world of dentistry in Pakistan. The lack of access to dental services and facilities, especially in rural areas, often leads to complications and long-term consequences for patients. The diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and disorders require specific skills and equipment, which are often lacking in dental clinics and hospitals in the country.

What are the main services covered under Dentistry?

There is a variety of problems that have been treated by dentists and these problems include

Cavities and tooth decay: This is one of the most common dental problems that dentists deal with. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that erodes the tooth enamel, leading to cavities. Dentists use fillings or dental crowns to restore the affected tooth.

Gum disease: Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Dentists treat gum disease with scaling and root planing, antibiotics, and, in severe cases, surgery.

Missing teeth: Missing teeth can be caused by tooth decay, injury, or genetics. Dentists can replace missing teeth with implants, dentures, or bridges.

Oropharyngeal Cancer: In this disease any part of the oropharyngeal cavity can be affected involving lips, gums, cheek lining, tongue, jaw, the hard or soft palate, and throat.

Malocclusion: Malocclusion, also known as a bad bite, occurs when the teeth and jaws are not aligned properly. Dentists can correct malocclusion with orthodontic treatments such as braces or Invisalign.

In addition to these specific issues, dentists also provide general dental care services such as teeth cleaning, X-rays, and oral hygiene education. Overall, dentistry covers a wide range of services aimed at maintaining and improving a person of oral health.

Dentistry in Pakistan

Pakistan has a significant shortage of dental professionals, and access to dental care is limited, especially in rural areas. Oral health issues, such as oral cancer, mouth cancer, and oral diseases, are prevalent, and missing teeth and soft tissues in the mouth are common. The population ratio of dentists to patients is far below international standards, and the number of new dentists entering the profession is inadequate to meet the growing demand.

Dental Colleges and Institutions

Dental schools and colleges play a crucial role in the education and training of dentists in Pakistan. However, the quality of dental school and education varies significantly, and there is a need for standardization and regulation. Bahria University Medical and Dental College, Karachi Medical and Dental College, and public sector other schools and colleges are some of the leading dental schools in the country.

Government Support

Access to affordable dental care is a challenge in Pakistan, as private dentistry can be costly and public dentistry is limited, resulting in extended wait times for those who cannot afford private dentist’ fees. However, some hospitals operate on the principle of providing free treatment to patients who are unable to pay, in order to provide care to as many people as possible.

Private Sector

The private sector plays a significant role in dental healthcare delivery in Pakistan, providing affordable dental care to the population. However, private dental care is often expensive, and the quality of care can vary significantly. There is a need for regulation and standardization of private dental clinics and practitioners.

Challenges in the Dental Profession in Pakistan

Dentistry in Pakistan is facing several challenges that are impacting its ability to provide quality care to patients. Some of the major challenges include:

Lack of Government Support

Despite being aware of the high burden of oral diseases and conditions in Pakistan, the government has not given enough attention and investment to the oral health sector. The lack of government support has led to several challenges, including:

  • Inadequate facilities, equipment, and resources in dental schools, especially in public sector hospitals and dental schools.
  • Limited availability of essential drugs, instruments, and materials needed for providing quality dental care.
  • Insufficient funding for research and development in the field of dentistry.
  • The absence of a comprehensive national oral health policy, strategy, and plan.

Shortage of Dentists

Pakistan faces a severe shortage of dentists, especially in rural areas, where the majority of the population resides. According to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, there are approximately 30,000 registered dentists in Pakistan, which is not enough to meet the needs of the growing population. The shortage of dentists results in:

  • Limited access to dental care, especially for people living in remote and rural areas.
  • Increased workload and burnout among dentists, who have to work long hours to compensate for the shortage of colleagues.
  • Poor quality of dental services due to the lack of qualified and experienced dentists.

Lack of Awareness

The lack of awareness about oral health and preventive measures is another significant challenge in Pakistan. Most people do not consider dental care a priority, and this has resulted in low demand for dental services. The lack of awareness also leads to:

  • Delayed treatment seeking, can worsen oral health conditions and increase the risk of complications.
  • Poor oral hygiene practices, such as irregular brushing and flossing, and the excessive consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
  • Misconceptions and myths about dental health and treatment can lead to unnecessary fear and anxiety among patients.

Lack of Modern Equipment

The lack of provision of modern equipment and facilities in public sector dental institutions affects the quality of education and training that students receive. It also affects the quality of dental services provided to patients. The challenges include:

  • Outdated and insufficient equipment for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of oral diseases.
  • Limited access to advanced technologies and techniques for restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
  • Poor maintenance and sanitation of dental equipment and facilities can increase the risk of infections and cross-contamination.

The Future of Dentistry in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

The dental profession in Pakistan is facing numerous challenges, including a lack of government support, a shortage of dentists, a lack of awareness, and outdated equipment. However, there are several initiatives that can be implemented to improve the future outlook for dentistry in Pakistan. Here are some of the key initiatives to consider:

Government Support

The government of Pakistan can play a vital role in supporting dental healthcare delivery by increasing funding for public sector dental clinics and hospitals. This can help improve the infrastructure, equipment, and resources available to dental professionals in Pakistan.


Raising awareness about dental health issues is critical in reducing the incidence of dental diseases and promoting preventive measures. The government can work with dental associations and other community organizations to create public health programs that focus on oral health promotion and education.

Education and Training

Standardizing and regulating dental education and training can ensure that dental professionals in Pakistan are adequately trained and equipped to provide high-quality dental care. The government can work with dental schools to establish national standards for dental education and ensure that students receive the necessary training and experience to practice dentistry.

Public-Private Partnerships

Public-private partnerships can help increase access to affordable dental care in Pakistan. The government can incentivize private dental clinics to provide services in underserved areas and establish public-private partnerships to improve dental healthcare delivery.


In conclusion, dentistry in Pakistan is facing numerous challenges and hindrances, ranging from a shortage of dentists to a lack of government support. The provision of affordable dental care to the population remains a significant issue, especially in rural areas of the country. The government needs to invest in the establishment and running of dental clinics in the public sector and provide resources and support to dental colleges and schools. The private sector has played a crucial role in providing dental services to the population, but the affordability of these services remains a significant issue that needs to be addressed.


How many years is the course of dentistry in Pakistan?

The course of dentistry in Pakistan is five years long and includes both academic and clinical training.

How much does a dentist make in Pakistan?

The salary of a dentist in Pakistan varies depending on their level of experience, location, and whether they work in the public or private sector. On average, a dentist in Pakistan can earn between PKR 40,000 to PKR 150,000 per month.

Is dentistry worth it in Pakistan?

Yes, dentistry is a rewarding profession in Pakistan. The demand for dental services is increasing due to the growing awareness of oral health among the population. Additionally, there is a shortage of qualified dentists in the country, which creates ample job opportunities for aspiring dentists.

What is BDS in Pakistan?

BDS stands for Bachelor of Dental Surgery, which is a five-year undergraduate program in dentistry offered by dental colleges and universities in Pakistan. Upon completing the program, students are awarded the BDS degree and are eligible to practice as dentists in the country.

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