Before 1979, there were only 5 undergraduate dental schools in Iran with a total admission of 200 students per year, and only 2,000 dentists and about 50 specialists practicing in the country. Currently, there are 18 dental schools with a total admission of 750 undergraduate students, 5 postgraduate programs in 10 disciplines with a total of 100 students, more than 11,000 dentists (1 dentist per 5,500 population) and nearly 1,000 specialists in the country. Two new schools have recently begun offering specialty training courses in 2 disciplines. The length of the dentistry curriculum is 6 years. Students take general and basic science courses during the first 2 years, then continue on the predental and dental courses for the remaining 4 years. The curriculum has been revised over the past 20 years to establish intership and specialty programs and introduce courses reflecting current trends in the dental profession. Dental services in Iran are provided by both public and private sectors. Oral health care was integrated into the Public Health Care network by 1997, and 4 levels of a Dental Health Care Delivery System were established. The first level is concerned with primary prevention at ‘health houses’, where auxiliary health workers called ‘behvarzes’ provide periodic examinations, referrals, and oral health education. At the next level, oral hygienists and dentists in ‘health centers’ perform basic oral health care services such as fillings, scaling, and extraction. At the third level, dentists manage and treat oral diseases in ‘urban health centers’, while the last level is for advanced treatment by specialists in university health centers in the cities.

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