The dental school was established as the Department of Dental Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ceylon, Colombo in 1943. Due to lack of space for expansion, it was moved to Augosta Hill, Peradeniya in 1954. However, the pre-clinical subjects continued to be taught at the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.
With the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at Peradeniya in 1961, the Dental School became a department of the Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya, and the BDS Degree was awarded by the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya.
In 1974, under the University Act, the medical, dental and veterinary schools were amalgamated into the Faculty of Medical, Dental & Veterinary Sciences of the Peradeniya Campus, University of Sri Lanka, with a chairman in each school. The chairman of the medical school was also the dean of the faculty.
The promulgation of the University Act. no. 1 of 1972 gave university status to each of the existing Campuses. The dental school still remained as a department of Faculty of Medical, Dental & Veterinary Sciences of the University of Peradeniya. In 1980, the Dental School was departmentalized into 5 departments, and in October 1986 it achieved Faculty status.
In 1990, the Faculty of Dental Sciences expanded into 6 departments of study, namely, Department of Community Dental Health, Oral Medicine and Periodontology, Oral Pathology, Oral Surgery, Prosthetic Dentistry, and Restorative Dentistry. A new department of Basic Sciences was created in 1997. Although there are a number of Faculties of Medicine in the country, this is the only Faculty of Dental Sciences in Sri Lanka.
With the recent advances in dentistry, the need for a modern Faculty of Dental Sciences to train dental undergraduates was considered a necessity and in October 1996 the foundation stone for the new Faculty of Dental Sciences and the Teaching Hospital was laid adjacent to the Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya.