Building momentum in 2018

31 January 2018

FDI President Kathy Kell

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President (2017-2019)

Happy New Year to all my friends and colleagues of FDI World Dental Federation. This year promises to be another exciting and productive one for FDI Members and Partners.

Making new connections

I attended the Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM) and enjoyed many diverse, fruitful meetings with FDI members and industry partners. I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed by Mr Jim Ingebrand, President of 3M Oral Care, about the state of global dentistry, FDI’s role in leading the world to optimal oral health, and how FDI and the dental industry work together. Among other notable meetings, I consulted with Dr Kenneth Judy, Chairman and CEO of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists; visited Colgate’s HQ with their VP of Global Oral Health, Dr Marsha Butler; spoke with Mr Christian Brutzer from Ivoclar-Vivadent; and met with members from the Academy of Dentistry International to discuss potential areas of collaboration.

I am greatly encouraged by the depth of FDI’s relationships with our partners in the dental industry. In a world where talk of borders and economic protectionism dominates the political world on an almost daily basis, we must all redouble our efforts to ensure that access to good oral care is available to all. FDI’s relationship with the dental industry is key to fulfilling this mission and I am confident that our level of public-private engagement will only continue to strengthen and prosper in the coming years.

Prof David Williams, FDI Science Committee Vice-Chair, presenting at the NCD Alliance Global Forum 2017 in Sharjah (UAE) to the global #NCDs community on how to achieve an integrated response for oral health in general  health.

More recently, FDI Executive Director Enzo Bondioni and Dr David Williams, Co-Chair of the FDI Vision 2020 Think Tank, travelled to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, to attend the Global NCD Alliance Forum. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with others in the NCD Alliance ahead of the 2018 United Nations High-level meeting on NCDs. The global initiative against NCDs is a powerful movement for the oral health community to coalesce around and develop innovative policies that will elevate the profile of oral health on the overall health agenda. By all indications, this year’s forum was a success and we look forward to further collaborations.

Measuring oral health

Over the past 12 months, FDI has been working with the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) to identify a minimum set of oral health measures.

Today, we invite you to participate in an open review survey on the FDI-ICHOM draft set of oral health measures. We are specifically requesting approval or how to make this minimum set even shorter. The survey is available in Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish. We have extended the survey deadline to Wednesday 7 February and we encourage you to share the survey links with your colleagues and members.

Your responses to the survey will help us evaluate this minimum set of measures and achieve a comprehensive set of oral health measures that can be applied in routine clinical settings to monitor oral health outcomes.

The draft set of oral health measures fits within the FDI oral health definition and its underpinning theoretical framework, which comprises of three core elements of oral health: physiological status, psycho-social function, and disease and condition status. Additionally, the framework includes moderating factors and driving determinants, defined as factors that affect oral health, such as genetic and biological factors, social environment, physical environment, health behaviours, and access to - and utilization of - care.

Mapping the year ahead

The FDI Strategic Plan for 2018-2021 kicks off this year. The groundwork for this important milestone was established at last year's FDI World Dental Congress in Madrid, Spain, where the FDI General Assembly approved the plan. The Strategic Plan is the result of a membership and external stakeholder survey that was held in early 2017. The plan is built around three key pillars: membership, advocacy and knowledge transfer. FDI will fulfil its mission through focusing on the three strategic areas each with specific goals aimed at delivering the overarching organizational goal: Lead the global fight to improve the oral health of populations to secure the general health and well-being of all at all ages. I look forward to sharing more details on the Strategic Plan with you in February.

This is also an opportune moment for me to remind everyone that World Oral Health Day is being held on 20 March. For the first time, FDI is launching a three-year campaign strategy under the theme 'Say Ahh'. Combined with different sub-themes each year, the 'Say Ahh' campaign brings to life the notion of the mouth serving as a mirror to the body and reflecting overall health. The 2018 campaign sub-theme 'Think Mouth, Think Health' introduces the link between oral health as being an indicator of general health and well-being. The campaign aims to educate people that keeping a healthy mouth is crucial to keeping it functioning correctly and for maintaining overall health and quality of life. I strongly encourage you to visit the WOHD website and find ideas for implementing initiatives in your local communities that will foster good oral health practices.

And please don't forget to promote this year's FDI World Dental Congress, which will be held in Buenos Aires from 5-8 September. I am already pleased by the news that members of our Latin American Regional Organization (LARO) - some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting last year in Chile - are already enthusiastically marketing the Congress to their national membership. I'm truly looking forward to the Congress; sharing knowledge about oral health, seeing old friends and making new ones and, of course, experiencing the unique culture of Argentina.

Finally, for those of you who are new to FDI, we have recorded a bite-sized video segment where I introduce our organization and give an overview of the work we do.

Wishing you a prosperous and healthy 2018.

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President (2017-2019)

Upcoming travel

Chicago Dental Society 153rd Midwinter Meeting
20-25 February 2018

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