Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the structure, function and their changes in a cell, tissue and the respective organs specially of the oral cavity. The study of the disease process and the subsequent affects on the tissue structures constitute in this branch of oral pathology. The subject covers developmental abnormalities, dental hard tissue pathology, microbiological disease process, HIV/AIDS pathology, premalignant lesions and premalignant conditions, oral cancer, immune related pathology, blood and lymphatic disease, odontogenic cysts and tumors, salivary gland pathology, soft tissue pathology including various malignancies and forensic odontology.
This branch also constitutes Oral Histology and Dental Anatomy which forms the building block of all other branches of dentistry. This branch enhances and trains the undergraduate s fundamentals towards basic diagnosis and to understand oral disease and their etiology. The student is trained to learn the natural anatomy or morphology of the permanent and deciduous dentition and attempts to reproduce it on wax. This gives the student a flair with the hand held instruments and sharpens the neuro motor coordination or the hand eye coordination.
Other teaching and training activities in this branch are research methodology, research activities in the diagnostic utilities of saliva, oral cancer conducting and attending various workshops. The department of oral pathology and microbiology was conceptualized in GITAM Dental College with the core thought of training undergraduate students including I, II, III year students and post graduate students. To add, the post graduate course or Masters of Dental Surgery was started in the year 2012 in this department. The post graduate course is an expanded version of the undergraduate course with an emphasis on the clinicopathologic correlation and the brain storming of accurate list of differential diagnosis.
The department covers a large area which houses the undergraduate tooth morphology laboratory, postgraduate laboratory, patient screening clinic, a seminar hall, grossing and histopathology station, a research room with a pentahead research microscope with image analyser, hematology, serology and a museum with inanimate models of tooth, supporting structures and various elaborate charts with illustrations.
The staff members are dedicated with a keen sense of interest in development of research, teaching the students and various skill developmental activities which in turn help them to broaden their horizons.
The department has conducted numerous research projects on oral cancer, various precancerous conditions, tumors arising from the jaw and the salivary glands using available research methods like ELISA, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Immunohistochemistry, Biochemical and Microbiological reactions. The department has also participated in national and International Conferences and presented useful data which proved to be of recognition to the society at large.