(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The number of dentists in Oman is proportionally low compared to the population of the country, a visiting expert has said.Citing WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations for the ratio of number of dentists against the population, Professor Dr Mariano Sanz Alonso, dean and head of the faculty of odontology, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, said, ''It should be in the order of one dentist for 1,500 people; Oman falls very short of this.''Dr Alonso is part of an International Advisory Panel (IAP) visiting Oman to review the performance of Oman Dental College (ODC), and ensure quality and adherence to international standards. The panel also includes Professor Nairn H F Wilson from King's College London andProfessor Lakshman Samaranayake, dean of the faculty of dentistry, University of Hong Kong.ODC also plans to open its doors to post-graduate students in the near future, and the advisors said international collaborations are being considered in this regard.''We are very happy with the standard the college has maintained and are working to develop it further,'' said Wilson. ''Though it is a little premature to give the exact year when post-graduation level classes will be started in the college, we can say that it will be sometime in the near future.''According to him, the college standards should equip students with confidence and help them stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any other student in the world. ''Some of these students may want to go abroad for further studies and it is important that they are confident.''The curriculum in Oman is based on the one followed by European countries,'' he added. ''ODC students will make for strong candidates wherever they apply internationally.''The panel members also met H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Saeedi, Minister of Health, and Dr Rawiyah bint Saud al Busaidiyah, Minister of Higher Education, on Monday. ''We discussed the need for dental nurses in the country and both ministers were supportive on the matter,'' Wilson said.The experts recommended that fresh graduates be allowed to work at health centres in the country before they take up private practice.''This will be a good development for the country and those new to the profession will get time for the transition by working under supervision for some time,'' said Dr Alonso.The panel discussed the need for creating more jobs with H E Saeedi. ''We discussed the possibility of granting fellowships to aspiring candidates for further studies,'' said Wilson. "ODC can work with the ministries in making arrangements for them.''