József Árkövy

The Hungarian oral and maxillofacial surgery has primarily grown from   warfare medicine. During the 1848-49 War of Independence, János Balassa gained tremendous experience in the first oral surgeon-type surgery that he also wrote down and later on he worked on   treating cleft palate and developing surgical techniques in that field. The University Dental Institute was opened in 1890, headed by József Árkövy, whose work and recognition was far beyond the borders of the country. Árkövy worked as a surgeon  in Hungary, then he went to London to study dentistry. From there, he founded the private and then the university dental school, which was officially admitted to the medical curriculum in the early 1900s (at that time there was no independent dentist training). In 1900, the institute was expanded with a dental laboratory and at the same time the possibilities for completing it were opened.

Department of the Dental Institute around 1896

The establishment of the recent Department of Oro-Maxillofacial Surgery and Stomatology  took place in 1909, when one of the best-equipped dental clinics in Europe, so called Stomatology Clinic was built and opened on the plot bounded by Mária and Pál Street. Its structure and overall furnishings were made with the utmost consideration of the aspects of education and specialist training. The Clinic of Dentistry was one of the first institutions in Europe to have in-patient care.

Stomatology Clinic – treatment room in 1909

During World War I, great progress began, as it was considered important to provide adequate care for many facial and jaw injuries. The Dental Clinic was full, and even other treatment rooms had to be converted into hospital rooms and operating rooms. József Árkövy retired in 1920 and died in 1922. His successor was József Szabó. During his period of directorship, both in the field of specialist training and in the field of scientific life there was a significant improvement: he renovated the internal structure of the Clinic and expanded the training of maxillofacial surgery. He expanded the clinic to the professional standard of the age, eg. X-ray department have been established and new disciplines have been introduced.





After the death of Szabó the new director of the Clinic was Dénes Máthé from a well known dentist dynasty, followed by Balogh Károly in 1944. At his initiative, dentistry became a compulsory subject in medical education from 1947, and in 1955 he founded the independent Faculty of Dentistry. The lecturers of dental subjects were members of the Clinic who received a university degree or a university degree in a few years. Károly Balogh graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in the academic year of 1946/1947 and from 1955 to 1964 he was the dean of the Faculty of Dentistry. As the Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, he organized the four dental departments in 1959. Since 1971, it has been possible to take a specialization examination in oral surgery.

In 1997, the Department of Oral Surgery was reconstructed and the equipment of the clinics was renewed and the operating room was modernized. In 2001, the new in-patient department was handed over.