Our purpose

As a membership federation rooted in commitment to ensuring optimal oral health globally, FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) works with its members to promote best practices in the sector through effective knowledge exchange approaches, leads global advocacy focused on oral health to promote political action in all countries, and builds capacity through grants, awards, and a development fund. FDI is the leading voice of the dental profession and represents over one million dentists globally.

Our Mission


A world with optimal oral health.



FDI is the leading global voice of the dental profession, working with members to improve oral health worldwide.

Our values


Commitment to members, integrity, culture of inclusiveness, service and ethical behaviour

Our Values

Commitment to members: As a federation of national dental associations and other specialist groups, we are committed to ensuring our members’ interests are represented at the global level and to bolstering their efforts at the national level.

Integrity: We are steadfast in our respect for moral values, accountability to commitments, due diligence, and constancy of methods. As the authentic voice of the dental profession, our work is pertinent, apt, and driven by the greater good of the dental profession and the public at large. 

Culture of inclusiveness: We deliberately and meaningfully engage and seek representation from the diverse range of oral health professionals and the communities and individuals they serve. This is paramount to achieving our mission. 

Ethical behaviour: An ethical code of behaviour guides our mission and the ways in which we work. We respect the rights, dignity, and equality of each individual, act with fairness, and reject all forms of discrimination and injustice. We emphasize that the International Principles of Ethics for the Dental Profession should be guidelines for every dentist and members of dental teams.

Service: FDI’s efforts are in service to the betterment of the health of individuals and communities. FDI and the vast community of dentists worldwide promote oral health to safeguard the overall health of current and future generations.

Our History

FDI was founded in the year 1900, when dentistry was a strikingly different profession. Back then, there were the village blacksmiths and barbers, who doubled as back-street dentists. There were the ‘market surgeons’ who treated teeth in public, mostly by extraction.

So, on the morning of 15 August 1900, in a room in Paris, Dr Godon brought together five like-minded dentists to found Fédération Dentaire Internationale, now FDI World Dental Federation (FDI). Its objective: to organize regular dental congresses to advance the science and art of dentistry and focus discussion on issues such as dental education, oral hygiene, and public dental health.

The ambition was to harness the collective expertise and knowledge of formally trained dentists – across borders – to achieve better oral health for all, which remains a firm commitment of FDI today.

Source: Celebrating a double milestone in 2020: FDI turns 120 and the International Dental Journal is 70

But alongside them, there were also the reputable, highly skilled men like Dr Charles Godon, with medical and dental degrees, who wanted a clear identity for their profession.