Aiming to be a global frontrunner in oral medicine
Celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, Fukuoka Dental College was founded in 1972 with the approval from the Ministry of Education, now the Ministry of
Education Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It received its first batch of students the following year.
Nearly half a century later, the college has not waned in its commitment to form competent dentists and develop pioneers in oral medicine. So far, more than 4,700 graduates have made successful careers in the medical field, the academe and in their own local communities.
From dentistry to oral medicine
Dental medicine does not cover only lesions of the teeth and surrounding tissues. The field covers a wide range of diseases affecting the oral cavity, including the lips, palate, tongue, salivary glands, jawbone, and temporomandibular joint.
This widened coverage came as a response to expanded knowledge about the structure of diseases, the demographic changes due to the declining birthrate and ageing population in Japan, the increasing prevalence of general medical diseases among dental patients and the improvement of dental technology.
In addition, oral care contributes greatly to the prevention of aspiration pneumonia and improves the quality of life of the elderly among in Japan’s ageing population. Thus, the relationship between dentistry and general medical care has grown even closer.
In order to promote “patient-centered medicine,” Fukuoka Dental College believes it is essential for their students to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of systemic medicine. It incorporates elements of general medicine and welfare into conventional dentistry, with the aim of training dentists who will “protect the health of the whole body through oral health”.
“To reflect the college’s new approach to the outside world, in 2013, we changed the name of our faculty from ‘Faculty of Dentistry’ and ‘Division of Dentistry’ to ‘Faculty of Oral Dentistry’ and ‘Division of Oral Dentistry,’ said Chairperson Dr. Sachiyo Suita.
In 2020, Fukuoka Dental College ranked 11th among 802 Japanese universities in terms of the ratio of students and researchers under 40 years old selected for the grants-in-aid for scientific research administered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
“As a place that cultivates excellent personnel, we will continue to make further progress in education, research, and in our contribution to society, with all students, faculty, and staff working together to provide happiness to people,” Suita said.