Moments from Dental Education in Kerala
From History(Teachers of Trivandrum Dental College - on its earlier days)

Sitting from L-R : Dr.P.I.John, Dr.Thomas C Thelly, Dr Jacob Zakhariah, Dr.P.P.Jacob, Dr.B.R.R.Varma Dr.Jacob, Dr,Jacob Hyson, Dr.Balakrishnan Nair. Standing from L-R : Dr.Sulochana Devi, Dr George Jacob, Dr.K.G.Nair, Dr.George Iype, Dr.C.K. Sugathan, Dr.Velayudhan Nair, Dr.K.P.Sreelatha


Facilities for formal Dental Education in Kerala was started in the year 1959 with the starting of Govt Dental College attached to Medical College, Trivandrum. Dr Clement who was working as Dental Surgeon in the General Hospital, Trivandrum was appointed as the Director of the newly started Dental College. He had his dental education from the Royal college ,London. Dr P.I. John who had passed B.D.S.from R.Ahamed Dental College, Calcutta was soon appointed as tutor. Dr John was the first keralite with B.D.S. degree to set up practice in kerala.Dr. P.P. Jacob who had graduated from Nair hospital Dental College,Bombay was the next person to be appointed as tutor in the Dental College.

When the Dental College was started it was functioning just above the out patient block of the Medical College Hospital.A separate building for the Dental College was constructed just at the entrance of the Medical college campus and was inaugurated in 1962.The first batch of dental students was graduated in 1963.

Dr.Clement was succeeded by Dr Om P Gupta ,a Periodontist with doctorate in Public Health Dentistry from USA.Dr Gupta served as Director only for a short time and returned to USA in 1963.None of the Dental College staff had adequate experience to hold the post of Director.Hence Dr Thangavelu,Principal,medical College, Trivandrum was given charge of the Dental College.Dr.P.P.Jacob was appointed as superintendent to look after the functioning of the Dental College.Soon Dr Subramaniam,Prof of Conservative Dentistry ,Govt Dental College ,Bombay was brought on deputation to Dental College ,Trivandrum as Director.On completion of his period of deputation,dr Subramaniam returned to Bombay and Dr Jacob Hyson,Prof and Head Of the dept of Prosthodontics was posted as Director of the Dental College.Dr Jacob Hyson was succeeded by Dr P.I. John as Director .Dr John was promoted as Joint Director of Medical Education in 1983 with the formation of the Directorate of Medical Education.He was the first person to be promoted as Joint Director of Medical Education,from the Dental Faculty.

Research activities were also started during Dr Om P Guptas period itself.he conducted some epidemiological studies with the help of the teaching faculty.This was continued by Dr Jacob Zakariah who was heading the Dept of Oral Pathology with financial assistance from ICMR. Dr Pindborg from Norway visited the Dental college in 1964 and initiated the Indo Norvegian Oral Cancer Project in Trivandrum Dental College.

Dr Jacob Zakariah and other faculty members took active interest in IDA activities also.In1972 Dental College Trivandrum hosted the National meeting of IDA in the campus.

Dental Hygienist course and Dental Mechanic course were started in Trivandrum dental College as early as 1963.

Post Graduate courses in Dental Specialities were started in 1967. M.D.S in Conservative Dentistry was the first to start.M.D.S in other specialities were started subsequently.


Govt decided to start another Dental College in the State, attached to Calicut Medical College in the year 1982.Dr.B.R.R.Varma ,Head of the Dept of Periodontics,Dental College, Trivandrum was appointed as special officer at Calicut. The first batch of BDS students were admitted in 1982 and the college was formally inaugurated by Sri R.Ramachandran Nair ,Health Secretary.Dr Balaraman Nair,Principal, Calicut Medical College ,presided over the function.The Calicut Dental College building was under construction at that time.Hence the classes were being conducted in the Calicut Medical College building itself.College was shifted to the new building in 1984.Dr C.T. Mathew was appointed as Director of Calicut Dental College.In 1984 Dr B.R.R.Varma was transferred back to Trivandrum as the Director of the Dental College.

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