IDJ supplement on oral health for an ageing population now online

09 January 2018 Ageing population

Senior couple embracing each other and smiling

The International Dental Journal (IDJ) – FDI’s primary scientific publication – published a special issue called ‘Oral health for an ageing population: Evidence for a fundamental human right’ which is freely available online.

The IDJ supplement is made up of six articles summarizing the presentations given at the Oral Health for an Ageing Population workshop, which took place in Lucerne, Switzerland, in May 2016. The articles are:

  • Oral health for healthy longevity in an ageing society: maintaining momentum and moving forward
  • Oral health for an ageing population: the importance of a natural dentition in older adults
  • The relationship of oral health with general health and NCDs: a brief review
  • Prevention of tooth loss and dental pain for reducing the global burden of oral diseases
  • Oral healthcare systems for an ageing population: concepts and challenges
  • Surveillance and monitoring of oral health in elderly people

The authors include Prof. Kakuhiro Fukai, Prof. Frauke Muller, Prof. Christoph Dörfer, Dr Susan Hyde, Ass. Prof. Elisa Ghezzi, and Prof. Hideo Miyazaki.

Symposium to improve the oral health of the elderly

In addition to the IDJ supplement, a webcast from the session Oral Health for an Ageing Population Symposium: Improving Elders' Oral Health by Clinical Actions which took place at the 2017 FDI World Dental Congress is also available.

The symposium outlines the efforts of FDI’s Oral Health for an Ageing Population task team and presents its vision for evidence-based health policy and clinical practice for achieving healthy longevity globally. It also covers applications of the Seattle Pathway in the dental practice and implant maintenance, oral health and dental care for frail and dependent patients, and dental treatment in Japan for the elderly in need of nursing.

The speakers at the symposium were Prof. Kakuhiro Fukai, Prof. Martin Schimmel, Ass. Prof. Elisa Chavez-Luna, and Ass. Prof. Kanji Nohara.

Population ageing on the rise

Almost every country worldwide is experiencing growth in the number and proportion of older persons in their population. According to the United Nations report on World Population Ageing, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56% between 2015 and 2030 – from 901 million to 1.4 billion.

This calls for changes to continue to adapt health systems to serve the ageing population and to maximize health and well-being at all ages. Governments must adopt a proactive approach and design innovative policies specifically targeted to the evolving needs of the elderly, including oral healthcare. 

FDI has been actively working on addressing Oral Health for an Ageing Population through its partnership with GC International AG. Launched in 2015, the partnership seeks to ensure oral health challenges are addressed in broader disease policies for ageing population. Its main objectives are to establish the fundamental role of oral health professionals in healthy longevity, and to further study opportunities for improved oral disease prevention and treatment of elderly patients and actively promote awareness of research on oral health in ageing populations.

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