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Prior to partition systems of medicine was mostly traditional, in nature. It was also associated with Hindu culture, Ayurveda - science of long life, this system has got origin in Rigveda-which guides the physician (Vaidyas) to cure the disease, Dental problem of minor nature, were treated by this system. Before the advent of Arabs and Western Medicine, Ayurvedic surgeon used to repair the external wounds. There was another system "Siddha" evolved in south India. Spiritual accomplishment or perfection. This system was in different in belief by Ayurveda. In Siddha system the diagnostic technique was careful reading of pulse i.e six pules, 3 on Rt side and 3 on left side of the patients.
Unani (greek) system developed in Middle East out of Arabs contacts with Greeco-Roman Civilization and entered in South Asia with successive waves of Muslim in Values-Unani system was popular by Mughal Emperors, particularly Akbar, (1556-1605) All such systems were also healer of dental problems e. g. Clove oil was used for pain in cavity and such other herbs were used for reducing mouth swelling. Biomedica or modern medicine was initially started in India for East India Company's employee, and later on for officials of various British administrations. Medical officers were trained and mostly British doctors were invited from U. K. The medical doctor expanded their private practice to public and in middle of 19th century the British Govt. established medical colleges in India to train South Asian doctors, who could supplement the practice of British physician. Hospitals and dispensaries (clinics) were built at district level and in Town. The expansion process was slow till 1930. Dental care was available up to extraction of teeth at such Hospitals by medical men/ doctor and assistant.
The dentalache was relieved by Holymen, by reciting some verses of holy Quran or some Darood. In early days, there were no modern like equipment or instruments. Even in 1956, when I was posted in Quetta, I had Iron dental chair of Rs. 150/ to treat my private patients. I continued to work dentistry at Lahore and Mardan upto 1973 on that Chair. It is hard fact about 250 years ago, dental care was non-existent and operator used to pull out the tooth, with instrument. The PELICAN (1790) an earliest stage instrument was implemented later on 1790, extracting Key was introduced. Craftwork was present in Egyptians culture, shaky and false teeth were bounded with gold wire during 3000-2500 B.C. and extraction was first choice of dental trouble and earliest dentist was HESI-RE 3100-2181 B.C.
The Ancient Greek (460-377 B.C.) Hippocrates had written some remedy for teeth problem. Pumice was used as powder. Even finger was rubbed after meals. The Roman (166-201 AD) were regular in tooth hygiene and gums and invented some restorative instrument for restoring the teeth, bridge and crown work was created. Bones were used for artificial teeth. Eggshells and other ingredient mixed with honey was used to clean the teeth.
Islamic Dentistry (570-950 AD) Miswak was for cleanliness and scalar was invented to clean tartar- it was horse shoe shaped and some other scraper were used as a part of hygiene care. Dental chair was invented by NICLAS DUBOSIS DE CHEMAN in 1797-1832, it was hydraulic chair. In 1895 G.V. Black worked on Dental cavity and its filling 68% silver amalgum with small amount of copper and tin was used as a filling material and dentistry went on till 1935- advanced surgery was invented. All such information was missing in our part of land wooden chair was used. My father told me story of removal of his tooth by forcep of Blacksmith. It was terrible expression of pain and bleeding for several days. He too has related that Barber used a scraper "nail remover" to pull out tooth. This is awful story of dentistry before partition of India.
Development of modern Medical and Dental Health services started by establishing of Mayo Hospital, King Edward Medical College, Lahore Calcutta Medical School, Madras Medical School as well.
There were centers for learning dentistry in the form of dental school at Bombay and Calcutta, like Ahmed Dental Clinic Calcutta, where from Mohtarma Miss Fatima Jinnah got the certificate of practice in dentistry. There were certain schools which used to prepare the dental surgeon for LDS examination at par with England. Therefore the de'Montmorency College of Dentistry was an event at Lahore and the candidates used to be primarily the medical graduates for two years course for BDS i.e profession was mostly in the possession of Medical men, Sikh and Hindu community and there was not significant Dental Association activities.
To trace the history of Pakistan Dental Association and the development of Dental Profession we have to pay our respects and regards to many those dedicated, who were dental practitioner without qualification but helped towards the advancement of dentistry with their efforts of pen and professional services and we marched on among those, I do recognize academic services rendered by late Sh Muhammad Iqbal of Punjab Dental Depot, 26 The Mall, Lahore who was a moving figure in Pakistan Dental Association and started publishing Pakistan Dental Review regularly which was present in almost all the universities of the world. We also pay our regards to dental practitioners Jalal ud Din, I Atta Ullah, M. Daud, Shafiq Ahmed, Ghulam Nabi and such other contemporaries who have been treating the citizens before the partition. These people have neither diploma nor attended any institutional training they learnt the profession by their interest and skill and they have played very useful role in the profession. Almost all have given us their children as competent dental surgeons like Dr. Zulqurnain, Dr Bilal Ahmed, Mr. Ayaz Mahmood, Editor medical news now dental news. Dr Shafiq Ahmed has given us Dr Akhlaq Ahmed, and Ghulam Nabi has given us Dr. Ahmed Hassan all these person played important role in the profession. During the time of partition following were qualified dental surgeons: Dr. Abdul Hafeez, BDS, MBBS, Dr. Latif, Dr. Abdul Haq, BDS, MBBS, Dr. Rashid Irabi BDS, MBBS and there was none elseanywhere in the Pakistan. There was no qualified dental surgeon in NWFP up to 1954 when Dr. Rashid Malik after his graduation was posted first dental surgeon at Peshawar. In Bahawalpur Division Dr. Yousaf Ali was posted in 1956, and in Baluchistan Dr. M. A. Soofi was posted in 1956. At that time practice of dentistry was in the hand of unqualified practitioners or medical men used to practice.
To trace the history of Dental Association of U. K it shall be surprised to know that in 1300 master of barber surgery company was made and it was given a chapter of recognition in 1462. Similarly to build up surgeon mostly monks and monastery started teaching from 1536 to 1539.
In our land, at time of Pakistan 1947 Barbers & Smiths were puller of teeth, holymen used to treat with indigenous medium hands. Most of Hospitals used to have set of Forceps for extraction of teeth and compouder or surgeon used to extract the teeth. Even during our training time 1952-56 at de' Montmorency College of Dentistry, Foot Dental Engines were used in conservation department and dental. Extraction was carried out with Iron Syringe, and needle was to be rubbed off.

Dentistry in our country preliminary was a craftsmanship up to 1916. It was not developed as such. It has not been recognized as the subject or the speciality, but after 1920 the ideas struck to certain people to organize the dental education and education was started in Calcutta on purely private basis. In those days health was a provincial subject and thus in 1934 College of de'Montmorency of Dentistry was established for Medical Graduates by Governor of the Punjab and later on it obtained the position of undergraduate premier Institution of this country. In the year 1927 Governor of Punjab, Sir de'Montmorency became concerned with the dental problems in the province of Punjab laid down the foundation of Punjab Dental Hospital in 1929. It started operating in April 1930. Later, the college was also established in 1934 and was named after the Governor of Punjab, Sir de'Montmorency. Initially de'Montmorency College of Dentistry was engaged in training medical graduates thus providing them dual qualification of MBBS & BDS. Only four MBBS doctors, two Hindus, one Sikh & one Muslim were provided this opportunity. Later, the course became available to intermediate with science and twelve students were admitted in each session till 1947.

  • First Principal Dr. Peter Giles - 1934-1936
  • Second Principal Dr. C.D. Marshal Day - 1936-1947
  • Third Principal Dr. Raymond Gill - 1949-1951
  • Fourth Principal Dr. Abdul Haq - 1952-1953
  • Fifth Principal Dr. H. R. Shah - 1953-1969
  • Sixth Principal Dr. Dr. Haider Tirmizi - 1969-1975
  • Seventh Principal Dr. Humayun Akhter - 1975-1976
  • Eighth Principal Dr. M. Saleem Cheema - 1976-1991
  • Ninth Principal Dr. M. Waheed Sheikh - 1991-1994
  • Tenth Principal Dr. Yaqoob Baig Mirza - 1994-2000
  • Eleventh Principal Dr. Tariq Zaman Ahmed - 2000-
  • Twelveth Principal Dr. Nazia Yazdanie -


Dr. R. Ahmed, Dental College & Hospital, 114, Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Road Calcutta 700 014, West Bengal


Miss Fatima Jinnah, Sister of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah attended the Ahmed Dental School in Calcutta and after qualifying certificate of examination she started practice in Bombay. Who was Dr. Ahmed, we narrated the historical aspect :


Dr. Rafiuddin Ahmed was born on December 24, 1890, in Bardhanpara, East Bengal, India. He graduated from Aligarh University in 1908. By the next year, he left for the United States by working his passage over. He enrolled in the University of Iowa School of Dentistry, earning his dental degree in 1915. Dr. Ahmed then worked in the Forsyth Dental Infirmary for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, until 1918. In 1919, he returned to India to open a dental practice in Calcutta.

In 1920, Dr. Ahmed founded the First Dental College of India, which was financed by starting the New York Soda Fountain in Calcutta. Dr. Ahmed published the First Student's Handbook on Operative Dentistry in 1928. The first Dental College of India affiliated with the State Medical Facility in 1936, and then with the University of Calcutta in 1949. In that same year, Dr. Ahmed donated his First Dental College of India to the West Bengal government. Dr. Ahmed served as the Principal of the College from 1920 to 1950.

Dr. Ahmed's philosophy was: "Education is the responsibility of the State: but if no one is willing to carry the cross, I will, for as long as I can".
In 1925 Dr. Ahmed established the Bengal Dental Association, which became the forerunner for the Indian Dental Association (which he also organized in 1928). He served three terms as President of the Indian Dental Association from 1945 to 1948.
He also established the Indian Dental Journal in 1925 and was its Editor until 1946. He also served on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, the PFA's Dental World/Dental Survey, and other publications.

Dr. Ahmed helped to form the Bengal Dentists Act in 1939. This was the first dental governmental regulation in India and it became the model for the Indian Dental Act passed in 1948. Dr. R. Ahmed was the first elected President of the Indian Dental Council, serving from 1954 to 1958.

Dr. Ahmed was awarded a Fellowship in the International College of Dentists in 1947 and Fellowships in the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Pierre Fauchard Academy in 1949. In 1964, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan, a rare and coveted honor never before presented to a dentist. Dr. Ahmed was the first Indian to have achieved such status.

Dr. Ahmed served as a Councillor and Alderman of the Calcutta Corporation from 1932 to 1944. In 1950, he became a Minister in the West Bengal government and was supervisor for the Departments of Agriculture, Community Development, Co-operation, Relief, and Rehabilitation until 1962.

Dr. Ahmed earned many honors and memorial tributes, of which inscription on the ICD Memorial Roll in 1965 was a particularly special tribute. The Indian Dental Association recognized his many contributions to Indian dentistry by establishing the Dr. R. Ahmed Memorial Oration at the 1977 Annual Indian Dental Conference. The Pierre Fauchard Academy dedicated its 1987 quarterly PFA Journal in Dr. Ahmed's memory, and the University of Iowa School of Dentistry Alumni Association presented their First Distinguished International Alumnus Award to him in 1989.

Today, Dr. R. Ahmed is remembered as the Nestor and Dean of Dentistry, Dental Education, and the Dental Profession in India. He died on January 18, 1965.


In the year 1927 Governor of Punjab, Sir Montmorency became concerned with the dental problems in the province of Punjab. Thus, the foundation of Punjab Dental Hospital was laid in 1929. It started operating in April 1930. Later, the College was also established in 1934 and was named after the Governor of Punjab Sir Montmorency.
de'Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore is one of the oldest and most prestigious centres of dental education and research in the sub-continent. In fact it has been the only dental institution producing graduates for a long time. Dacca and Calcutta did produce licentiate dental surgeons and a number of unauthorised institutions with commercial motives were also engaged in some form of dental education.
At the time of independence it was the only dental centres with limited manpower resources available in terms of teachers, house surgeons and students. The departure of Britishers, Hindus and Sikhs dilapidated the conditions but with the untiring efforts of limited number of staff, the institution started making its leaps forward.
In the early sixties, need for more dental institutions arose and gradually new centres at Peshawar, Hyderabad and Multan started producing dental graduates. They are not only engaged in imparting dental teaching but also providing the dental health cover to large sections of population of their respective areas. Beyond that all these institutions are training dental graduates for the Middle East and the Far East countries.
Initially de'Montmorency College of Dentistry was engaged in training medical graduates thus providing them dual qualification of MBBS & BDS.
Only four MBBS doctors, two Hindus, one Sikh and one Muslim were provided this opportunity. Later, the course became available to intermediate with science and twelve students were admitted in each session, that was thus the state of affairs till 1947.
At the time of partition Dr. Abdul Haq and his colleagues, started building from the foundation laid down by Dr. Marshall Day and Dr. Peter Gilles and since then hundreds of graduates spread in almost every corner of the world have been produced by this esteemed institute. The graduates of this institution have earned the envy of the foreign colleagues as well as the administration of their patients due to their knowledge, devotion, digital dexterity and expertise.
This college is attached with the Punjab Dental Hospital. Both of them are situated at Fort Road Lahore in the vicinity of the historical picturesque Badshahi Mosque and majestic Lahore Fort.
The college provides four years degree course at the end of which students are awarded the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery by the University of Punjab.
Apart from this the following training programme are also held in this institution:

  • A two year condensed course for the medical graduates to obtain the BDS degree.
  • Two years training programme for the MDS degree.
  • One year diploma course in the clinical subject.
  • Two years dental technicians course.

All the latest and advanced teaching facilities are provided for the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students. The hospital is well equipped and comprises of almost all the disciplines of dentistry while the medical subjects are taught in the King Edward Medical College and Mayo Hospital, Lahore.
The institution has developed and progressed inspite of limited resources and has become an institute of great repute, which stands upto international standards. All this was possible only due to the selfless, devoted and untiring efforts of Dr. Marshall Day, Dr Peter Gilles, Dr. Abdul Haq and Dr Hassan Raza Shah.

Today it enjoys the status of the most respected institution not only in the country but also in the whole region.