Since 2020, the Faculty of Dentistry at UWC has seen the evolution of Oral Biology into Craniofacial Biology, embracing molecular investigations and technology in basic oral health research. In April 2023, a more inclusive department, ‘Craniofacial Biology, Pathology, and Radiology,’ was established, enabling the correlation of clinical, radiological, histological, and molecular aspects of diseases and disorders.

Africa possesses unparalleled genetic diversity, yet little research has explored the genetic basis of oral diseases in Africans. The UWC Department of Craniofacial Biology, Pathology, and Radiology recognizes that the future of evidence-based dentistry in South Africa and Africa hinges on fostering a vibrant dentist-scientist workforce. Research in rare diseases, oral cancer, periodontal disease, and temporo-mandibular disorders has gained momentum.

The African Society for Dental and Craniofacial Genetics (ASDCG) was founded in 2023 by dentists interested in genetics and molecular research. As the number of dentists involved in omics research increases, the ASDCG was established to deepen the understanding of genetic factors related to dental and craniofacial health in Africa. It addresses oral health challenges, leveraging Africa’s genetic diversity and serving as a collaborative platform to translate genetic research into improved oral health outcomes