Published: 31-05-2024 10:17 | Updated: 31-05-2024 10:17

Dentistry programme celebrates 50 years in Huddinge

Foto: Kicki Carlsson KI

This year marks 50 years since the dentistry programme moved from Holländargatan to Huddinge. The move to Huddinge meant a closer location to other medical education and research facilities, especially at Karolinska Institutet.

The dentistry programme was located at Holländargatan in Stockholm. But the equipment at the School of Dentistry was outdated and the premises were not considered capable of offering a modern education. It became insufficient for the growing education and number of students. There was a need for more advanced modern equipment that could support an updated and more comprehensive education.

The groundbreaking ceremony for what was then Scandinavia's largest construction project took place in 1967 and Huddinge Hospital was opened in 1972. The total building area was 350,000 m2, about the size of Gamla Stan. The hospital found its place in literature when the doctor and author P C Jersild published his satirical novel Babels Hus in 1978.

In 1974, the training of dentists moved to Huddinge, which meant a closer location to other medical training and research facilities.

Original site plan with possible expansion possibilities for research and dental care. Photo: N/A

Jan-Ivan Smedberg, chief dentist and associate professor, remembers: 

“The intake of students was doubled to 110 per semester from January 1973 until 1979. During this period, half of the students went to Huddinge and half to Holländargatan. This meant that the last students on Holländargatan graduated in the summer of 1984 and thus the last teachers moved out to Huddinge".

The building was not even finished

"When we started in Huddinge in January 1974, we had to walk in from the back on planks to the room (Technologen) on the ground floor, which was the only thing that was ready when we started. Then the building was gradually completed as the education progressed".

What was it like to be a student in 1974 compared to being a student today?

"I don't know what it's like to be a student today, but as far as I know, there was a lot more practical work in all stages of education in the 1970s".

What has KI meant to you in your professional life?

"It provided lots of personal contacts that have been helpful for the rest of my professional life".

What advice would you give to the new generation of students?

"Enjoy this carefree period in life. Have fun and at the same time soak up as much as possible of all the knowledge on offer".

Education in 2024

University Dental Clinic is today one of Sweden's largest care floors with 

  • six different clinics
  • 147 dental chairs
  • around 40,000 patient visits every year

Today 450 students attend the 5-year dentistry programme, 150 students attend the 3-year dental hygienist programme. There is 3-year specialist training programme for dentists, 8 specialties and Supplementary Training for Dentists outside the EU/EEA (KUT) 1 year, 16 students.

The Department of Dental Medicine offers Master Courses and Theory of Science as well as research training for 30 PhD students.

Louise Ericsson, student 1974 and Lars Frithiof, teacher:

“Even if you are a newly qualified dentist and have learned a lot and have a lot of knowledge, it is very important to understand that things are constantly evolving.” 

“You have to update your knowledge continuously and take courses. It's for both the patient's and your own safety. It also makes the profession of dentist more interesting and rewarding.”