The Postgraduate Program in Dentistry (PPGO) of UFPel started as PPG in Endodontics in the year 1976. In the 90's, the Dentistry concentration area was created and in 2001 the Endodontics area was deactivated. In 2003, the PhD in Dentistry was approved. In 2006, the PPGO opened the area of Pediatric Dentistry, and from 2009 on, it began to count on the areas of Oral Diagnosis, Dental Materials and Dental Prosthesis, functioning in this way until 2016. From 2017 and as a result of a didactic reformulation, organizational, pedagogical and seeking qualification in the student training, PPGO-UFPel now has only two areas of concentration: Dental Clinic and Biomaterials and Oral Biology. Both areas admit training with specific emphases.
The purpose of the restructuring was to promote the necessary adjustments to the good functioning of the Program, increase the scope in terms of the recruitment of teachers and training of human resources, and at the same time increase the interconnectivity between the existing areas and research lines. In the area of Dental Clinic, the student can have the training with emphasis within the following dental specialties: Dentistry and Cariology, Oral Diagnosis, Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Dental Prosthesis. In the area of Biomaterials and Oral Biology, the following emphases are accepted: Dental Materials, maintaining a more education related to teaching and research in dentistry, and Technological Innovation, with greater proximity to companies, productive sector and basic research. This restructuring also aimed to bring human resources training closer to the national guidelines for undergraduate courses in Dentistry and to the Pedagogical Project of the Dental School of UFPel. In addition, it is hoped to be able to improve the qualification of human resources training to work on different fronts within the service, academia, research, innovation, industry, etc.
The PPGO is now a national reference for research and post-graduation in the area of Dentistry and is in a mature process of internationalization. With this, it maintained the note 6, reached by few of the more than 100 PPGs of the area. A detailed reading of the opinion of the last four years indicates that the program acted in a competent manner and met all the qualitative and quantitative criteria considered relevant by the area of dentistry of CAPES. In this way, the group understands that the work has been done correctly, despite the enormous difficulty of doing so in a state that has invested little in research.
Also, the RS is the state with the highest number of doctors per capita in the country, which increases the competitiveness due to the little available resource. Added to this is the substantial reduction of federal public resources in recent years that have been so important to the growth and consolidation of the Program. The group of PPGO-UFPel has been considered young and with path yet to go; however, numerical and qualitative indicators indicate that the path and projection pursued and achieved by the Program are comparable to groups and programs located in large centers. In recent years, there has been a solid process of maturation of all the activities developed, in order to characterize a PPG that is concerned with the qualified training of human resources, but understanding the role of postgraduate in Brazil in social, science and technology development.
It is important to emphasize that all students, during the teaching stage, have ensured a great space for teacher training, with important contacts of undergraduate students with undergraduate students. The disciplines have been formulated and developed in such a way as to allow a solid formation to be assured, considering their differences between Masters and PhD levels. The restructuring of the Program was accompanied by adjustments and modernization of the disciplines offered and modalities for compliance with credits. Even considering local, regional and recent funding constraints, PPGO has an excellent coordination infrastructure, auditorium, student rooms and research laboratories, as a result of several reforms carried out over the years and the outstanding capacity of the faculty to raise financial resources from different sources.