Operative Dentistry

Operative Dentistry

Operative Dentistry deals with the art and science of the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of defects of teeth.

The four year residency programme in Operative Dentistry aims at providing cutting edge training in the area of poly specialty restorative dentistry.  This training programme encompasses disciplines of Endodontics, Fixed Prosthodontics and Periodontics.

Treatment outcomes expected by an operative dentist include restoration of proper tooth form, function and esthetics while maintaining the physiological integrity of the teeth in harmonious relationship with the adjacent hard and soft tissues, all of which enhance the general health and welfare of the patient.


The section of Dentistry has evolved from the Dental services at AKU that was established as soon as the University Hospital opened in 1985.  In 2002, a CPSP-approved residency training programme in Operative Dentistry was put in place with the recruitment of two trainee residents.  Since then, the section has expanded to eight full time and four part time faculty members.  Currently, there are eight residents and the programme offers training in almost all the areas of contemporary Operative Dentistry.

Objectives of the training programme

At the completion of the four year residency programme, our graduates will be able to:

  • Assess the patient properly, plan an inquiry strategy, interpret the results of those investigations and make an accurate diagnosis
  • Devise a comprehensive and realistic treatment plan
  • Have comprehensive understanding of infection control and cross infection
  • Execute the treatment plan to high treatment standards by performing restorative procedures independently and competentl
  • Deal effectively and promptly with problems and complications which may be encountered during or after the treatment
  • Maintain a standardised dental record of all patients
  • Provide subsequent continuing care
  • Establish, organise and plan teaching facilities and programmes as training supervisors
  • Plan, conduct, publish and implement research in their field pertinent to the needs of their own community
  • Acquire new information, assess its utility and make appropriate application
  • Recognise the role of team work and function as an effective member/leader of the team
  • Advise the community on promoting dental health and preventing oral diseases
  • Train dental auxiliaries and other junior members of the dental team

Duration of training

The Operative Dentistry Residency Programme extends over four years, during which progressively increasing exposure and responsibilities will be given to the trainees.


  • BDS or equivalent degree approved by the PM&DC
  • One year internship in Dentistry
  • FCPS Part I in Dentistry
  • Previous experience not required

Positions will be advertised to invite applicants.  An MCQ entrance test will be given and the short-listed candidates will be called for an interview.  Both test and interview will be critical in the selection process.  An attempt will be made to make a comprehensive evaluation to determine the candidate's academic potential and commitment to a demanding four-year programme.

Services and academics

The programme is designed for individuals planning major commitment to hospital or other academic institutions, and also for those intending to go into private practices.

The major training sites will include the Dental Clinic at AKUH, Karachi, AKU Clifton Medical Services and Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan Diagnostic services.

First year residents spend two months on extra dental rotations.  These rotations are planned to provide an exposure to diagnosis and management in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Hematology, Radiology, Emergency Medicine and ENT.  In addition, residents are required to attend allied dental rotations which include Orthodontics, Prosthodontics and Oral surgery.  These provide residents with clinical instructions and experience in multiple disciplines of dentistry, with a varied patient population.  All procedures are done under supervision of the faculty.

Emergency room coverage would be provided by the dental service 24 hours, seven days a week on rotational basis under the overall supervision of on-call consultants.

Scheduled learning sessions will be in the form of lectures, problem-based learning sessions, case discussions, resident presentations, clinical skills workshops, journal clubs, patient care conference and lectures using e-learning methods such as Elluminate teleconferences.

Lectures by dental and non-dental faculty are arranged for residents.  Each resident is required to present a topic on multimedia once a week.  Fortnightly problem based learning sessions are arranged on particular case scenarios facilitated by the supervisors.  Clinical skills/typodont teeth workshops are conducted by the faculty on different procedures.  In the first year, residents are required to submit a number of cavity preparations on phantom teeth and have them evaluated by faculty.  A patient care conference is held once a month where residents present a complete clinical case.  The residents are encouraged to attend other learning activities on the campus, especially in the area of Community Health Sciences including Biostatistics and Epidemiology.

Acquisition of teaching skills will be through the residents' involvement in teaching other residents, dental assistants, patients, etc.  The residents of Year 4 are responsible for teaching the junior residents and dental assistants.  They are also encouraged to take active interest in organising their activities.  There are workshops and sessions for residents to train them as role model teachers.

Assistance with preparation of dissertation for CPSP Examination

The residents are encouraged to select a topic for dissertation to complete the requirements of CPSP for FCPS-II examination, with ongoing guidance and supervision in completing this task.  A supervisor is assigned for the residents for their research related activities. 

Evaluation system

Two -monthly comprehensive and structured evaluations are conducted.  The assessment is made on the basis of written examination and clinical viva, overall clinical performance in the clinics and participation in academic and research activities.  The first two assessments are formative while the third one is summative.  A new table of specification is made to assess the domains of cognitive learning, psychomotor skills and attitudinal (affective) domains of learning.  The objective is to train the future specialists that can serve as expert clinicians and dedicated teachers with willingness to become life- long learners.

The evaluations are designed to not only assess the performance and learning of the residents but to evaluate the programme in terms of its achieving its objectives.  The curriculum of the training programme is subject to review after given intervals to continuously improve upon the residency programme quality.

Research opportunities

The residents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with research methodology and study designs.  Towards the end of their first year, they are expected to have their own research projects lined up for which constant guidance and supervision is provided on one-to-one basis.  In addition to FCPS dissertation, each resident is expected to contribute one article every year to a reputable journal.  As mentioned earlier, the programme has the provision of delivering basic concepts of clinical research in a lecture format to the residents.  The residents are made aware of the tools of epidemiology, biostatistics and medical writing and critical appraisal of dental literature.  The residents are also encouraged to attend relevant research sessions & courses organised by PGME and CHS at Aga Khan university.  Most of these courses are financially supported by the PGME and department of Surgery.  The faculty of dentistry provides mentorship to the residents by supervising them in their research work, refining the research question and improving the study methodology.  Residents are encouraged and supported to attend national and international conferences for presenting papers.

Scope and career

Operative Dentistry offers a unique programme in Pakistan and is among the rare programmes which offer a hospital based training, helpful in learning the management of a variety of medically compromised patients.

The clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art dental equipments and operatories.  Easy access to a variety of latest books and journals in library and access to research office assistance services is another added advantage very rarely found in other institutions.  This training will provide the residents a firm basis of knowledge to take the Part II Fellowship Examination in Operative Dentistry, conducted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan


Operative Dentistry is a discipline that is expanding and the need for trained professionals is rising in the country.  Operative Dentistry is the field which covers most common dental problems faced by community.  The graduates will face no difficulty in starting a career in institutional or private practice.

Positions available

There are eight positions in the programme.  Two new residents are inducted each year.

Administrative set-up

Under the supervision of Chair of the Surgery and the Section Head of Dentistry, the specialty of Operative Dentistry has following faculty.

Full-time Faculty

Dr Munawar Rahman
Senior Lecturer & Interim Section Head
Residency Programme Coordinator

Dr Farhan Raza Khan
Assistant Professor
Residency Programme Director

Dr Robia Ghafoor
Senior Instructor

Dr Fahad Umer
Senior Instructor

Dr. Faisal Qayyum
BDS, MClinDent (UK)
Senior Instructor

Part-time Faculty

Dr Farah Naz

Dr  Farah Saeed
Consultant Honorary Faculty

Dr Saida Rasul

Dr Karim Alibhai
DDS; Diplomate American Board of Endodontics
Associate Professor, School of Dentistry, University of Washington, USA

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