SDM College of Dental Sciences & Hospital, Sattur Dharwad: A Constituent Unit of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara University
SDM College of Dental Sciences & Hospital
SDM University

“Every tooth in a man’s mouth is more valuable than diamonds.”

Oral health affects your life in ways that are often taken for granted. Your mouth can reflect the overall health of your body. Therefore, taking care of your pearly whites is an important aspect of one’s life.

There has been growing recognition in the dental profession in the last three decades. Dental education must go beyond teaching the technicalities of dentistry and include professionalism and communication skills that the future dentist needs. Such skills are best taught in a student-centred way. We achieve this on a day-to-day basis at SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, with the help of exceptional infrastructure, versatile faculty, facilities and zealous students.

Established in 1986, SDMCDS is recognised by the dental council of India for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It’s a self-financing, non-profitable organisation with a vision of excellence, knowledge, skills and service. The SDMCDS is situated in Sattur, between Hubli and Dharwad, at the northern tip of Karnataka, with a population of more than one million. Hubli is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka, after Bangalore, and is known as a cultural and educational centre. SDMCDS renders professional dental care to about 400 patients a day from in and around Hubli-Dharwad district and has crossed serving more than 10,00,000 patients in 36 years.

The faculty and students generate new knowledge in the basic and applied sciences with an emphasis on the promotion of oral health and function. The acquired knowledge is disseminated through presentations at speciality conferences, workshops, seminars and publications on various national and international platforms.

The institution seeks to inform the public about the prevention and treatment of oral diseases through camps and dental health awareness programs.

It’s a matter of great pride that the institution has been ranked as one of the top 10 best dental colleges in India. The college aims at providing the best possible dental treatment and leaves no stone turned towards achieving the same.

The college has also incorporated high-end equipments such as CBCT (radiographic imaging), CAD-CAM systems, Zeiss Endo-Surgical microscopes, LASER systems and many more, ensuring that students remain at the forefront of their chosen field.

While conversing with the team at The Knowledge Review, Dr. Niranjan Kumar, the Vice-Chancellor of the SDM University, shared his and the institute’s journey and all the pedagogical approaches applied in the institute and also mentioned the future vision.

The Inception

The SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital was established on 16th September 1986. and it became a constituent unit of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara University under the Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara University Act 2018, on 19th December 2018, as a state private university in Dharwad, Karnataka.

The college is sponsored by the Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Educational (SDME) Society, which is a non-profit educational society, and it has been working under the aegis of Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala.

The primary goal of the institute is to improve the oral health of the local population and cater to their dental needs in the most sophisticated and economical manner since its humble beginning as a wing in the SDM Engineering college campus and rented premises as the hospital to the state-of-the-art hospital and teaching facility that it is today. The institution has completed 36 successful years with a glorious past to boast about and is scaling new heights with each passing day towards a bright future.

The larger SDM Group of Institutions offers various courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Engineering, Law, Social Sciences, Management, Naturopathy, and Ayurveda, and SDM University has been recognised with Asia’s Greatest Brand (2020) award.

The college attributes its success to two visionary and eminent personalities among the so many leaders.


Poojya Shri D. Veerendra Heggade is the Honorable Chancellor of SDM University and a visionary leader with a dream to start a Centre of Excellence in Medical Education and Healthcare for the people of the North Karnataka region at an affordable cost. The university has achieved many milestones within the span of less than four years under the guidance of Poojya Shri D. Veerendra Heggade. In the present glory, he is spearheading the activities in more than forty premier academic and professional institutions spread across the state of Karnataka.

Dr. Niranjan Kumar, the eminent plastic surgeon, is the founding Vice-Chancellor of SDM University, Dharwad. Under his guidance, the university and its constituent institutions are in a growing pace and have received many ranks in the country.

Vision and Mission

Change is the only permanent constant in life.

SDM Dental College has always been adaptive to changes, which is one of the main attributes of its success. Dr. Niranjan Kumar follows a

“Learner-centered education, patient-centred service and community-oriented research for excellence.”

Sliding down the mission statement, Dr. Niranjan Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, says,

  • “Contribute professionally competent general and speciality personnel to meet regional, national and global oral healthcare needs.
  • Foster strong community relationships through research, services and Collaboration.
  • Provide an efficient, effective and community-acceptable system that excels in education and service.
  • Inculcate values in learners to be socially and professionally acceptable.”

According to the established vision and mission of the institute, it encourages introducing various unique learning programs.

Unique Academic Programs

SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital is unique in many ways. One of the most highlighted facts is that it is the only dental college to start without an associate Medical College.

The college and hospital have been functioning on the present campus since 1991 and have carved a niche for itself as one of the finest Dental Colleges in the country can have. Boasting huge 27 acres of campus, which is a major landmark on the Hubli-Dharwad highway.

The college has nine speciality departments functioning with state-of-the-art facilities providing the best possible quality dental care to the public. The college enrols 100 undergraduate students and 45 postgraduate students in each speciality every year.

Apart from the speciality departments, the Dental College is known for being the first to gain credit for the following:

  • Oral Implantology- in 1993, the college developed India’s first Department of Oral Implantology with the support of the renowned implantologist Prof. Hans Grafelmann from Germany.
  • Craniofacial Hospital – Established in 1997, the institute boasts of an exclusive centre that focuses on Post-Trauma Reconstruction, Oral Cancer Rehabilitation, as well as Cleft-Lip and Palate Surgeries.
  • Forensic Odontology – Another first-of-its-kind venture in India, recognised by the Karnataka Government as a state-referral centre for forensic dental cases.
  • The Department of Special Healthcare Needs of Dentistry was established to cater the patients who require special needs and are medically compromised.
  • Central Sterile Supplies Department (CSSD), where all instruments used on patients are sterilised as per international guidelines.

Apart from the unique learning programs, the institute is also focusing on providing global exposure for better future opportunities.

Global Exposures

As a part of upgrading dental education, the college provides training programs for undergraduates and postgraduates, exchange programs and affiliations with reputed International Universities.

While stating about the global exposure and facilities, Dr. Niranjan Kumar stated that “Besides exchange programs, the college is providing state-of-the-art facilities to their students. The college is proud to have an advanced Cone Beam CT Scan (CBCT) machine (Radiologic Diagnostic aid) for procuring images for digital treatment planning of patients.”

He also stated, “Advanced treatment facilities also include Computer-Aided-Design (CADCAM) milled prosthesis and 3D printed restorations and prosthesis, microscopic endodontics for faster and better treatment options. In this regard, the institute has signed MOU with Carl-Zeiss Company for advanced training in micro endodontics.”

With the help of these advancements, the faculty of the institution inspires students to opt for research-based learning.

Encouraging Research-Based Learning

Since the college’s inception, it has treated more than 11,00,000 patients, which includes many critical cases. The institute has also provided dental learning to more than 4,000 Undergraduates and more than 1500 Postgraduates.

The students trained here have made the institute proud by earning laurels at the University level through bagging Ranks and Gold Medals. The proud alumni of the college have been successful not only in India but also across the globe, serving as renowned dentists and academicians.

Apart from the students training programs, the faculty encourages research activities that facilitate healthcare improvements. The research has been approved by recognised Funding Agencies like ICMR and DST etc.

All these pedagogical programs not only educate the students but also bring achievements to the institution.

Awards, Accolades, and Accreditations

  • SDM Dental College was initially being affiliated to Karnataka University Dharwad.
  • From 1996 to 2018, the college was part of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore.
  • The institute was the first outside college in the United States to host a team from the American Dental Association for accreditation of international dental colleges.
  • SDM dental college has been the only dental college accredited by NAAC consecutively for three cycles 2002, 2009, and 2015 with an ‘A++’ grade.
  • The institute is one of the premier dental institutes that is recognised by the NIRF (National Institute Ranking Framework) MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) Ranking for its quality education.
  • The college also holds rank in the top 5 private dental colleges in ranking surveys by various reputed agencies.

Being an inspiration for the institution, Dr. Niranjan Kumar also shares his future plans and approaches for holistic development.

Envisaging the Future

After a long discussion with Dr. Niranjan Kumar about the institute’s activities, awards and accolades, he further shares his future approaches for the students and the institute’s development. He states, “The institution has imparted future plans in terms of infrastructure expansion in clinical departments and offering new courses/academic activities in the form of PhD. Fellowship and Diploma courses in all the clinical and non-clinical departments of dentistry. The institution’s future direction in dental education includes-

  • Developing a competency-based curriculum.
  • Blending dental education into the mainstream of health professions education
  • Reform of the environment in which clinical education occurs.”

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