Listening and learning

25 April 2018


Dr Kathryn Kell speaking at ERO meeting

FDI President Kathy Kell

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President

In the city of Mozart’s birthplace and the land of The Sound of Music, FDI’s European Regional Organization (ERO) held its spring meeting in beautiful Salzburg, Austria.

Springtime in Salzburg

With the leaves turning green and flowers blooming, most of ERO’s members gathered at its Spring Plenary Session from 13 to 14 April to share knowledge, give updates on topical issues and renew friendships with fellow colleagues. The meeting opened with a reception in the Hotel Sacher Salzburg situated on the banks of the Salzach River. The Hotel Sacher Salzburg is famous for the original Sachertorte recipe and is one of Austria’s loveliest hotels. At the reception, ERO’s President Dr Anna Lella graciously welcomed everyone to Salzburg and to the meetings in the days ahead.

ERO is FDI’s oldest regional organization and many members of FDI committees, task teams and projects are also ERO members. Several FDI representatives attended the Spring meeting including FDI President-Elect Dr Gerhard Seeberger (also a Past President of ERO), FDI Speaker Dr Susie Sanderson, and FDI Council members Dr Nikolai Sharkov and Dr Edoardo Cavallè. Throughout the meeting’s various sessions and events, I had the opportunity to update ERO members on the status of FDI’s programmes and advocacy efforts, and our upcoming events.

ERO assigns its members to discrete working groups to focus on particular issues, which then report back at this meeting and at other times during the year. In Salzburg, ERO’s working groups shared detailed reports on a range of diverse issues: liberal dental practice in Europe, relations between dental practitioners and universities, integration (membership) of all European countries, quality in dentistry, the dental team and ageing populations. The reports were very well received and generated a significant amount of discussion among attendees.

Several obstacles to the provision of adequate oral care were also identified and were categorized as items of importance. These included the challenges posed by increasing regulation, lack of government interest in oral health, low levels of public funding for oral healthcare, an increasing number of dentists including possible urban/rural maldistribution, numbers of graduates from universities and ethical issues involving commercialism in dentistry. It was invaluable to listen to these reports because many of the issues facing ERO are also shared by FDI’s other members around the world. By listening closely to our members, FDI can learn about the emerging issues that affect our core constituency and set our advocacy priorities accordingly.

Another highlight of the Spring meeting was the opportunity to learn more about ERO’s recent collaboration with the European Dental Students’ Association (EDSA). EDSA President Dr Valentin Garyga and Dr Thomas Wolf from the University of Bern gave encouraging reports about the progress made to date. Enhancing collaboration between professional organizations and student organizations, and speaking with dental students about life after graduation is essential. It is vital that the dental profession is actively engaged with the issues affecting young dentists in training, the job market and, of course, the all-important transition from training to employment.

Other events we enjoyed while in Salzburg included ERO’s Gala Dinner at Stieglkeller – a quaint restaurant in the heart of the Old City, where we enjoyed traditional Austrian food and beautiful views of the city – as well as a tour of the resort area, Salzkammergut, which concluded with a scenic boat ride and a final dinner with ERO members.

A big thank you to our host Dr Hans Schrangl, Vice-President of the Austrian Dental Chamber, Salzburg Dental Chamber President and Austrian Dental Chamber Vice-President Dr Martin Hönlinger, ERO President Dr Anna Lella and ERO President-Elect Dr Michael Frank, ERO Secretary General Dr Oliver Zeyer, ERO Treasurer Dr Bartolomeo Griffa and ERO Councillor Dr Taner Yücel for a truly memorable meeting and equally wonderful hospitality.

FDI 2017 Annual Report


I am delighted to share with you FDI’s 2017 Annual Report, which highlights the activities and achievements of FDI, our members and partners. I want to thank everyone who helped us make 2017 a great success! We look forward to working together and building on our successes in 2018.

To read the report and financial statements, please download the report here.

Introducing Mouth Patrol

Earlier this month, FDI launched Mouth Patrol – an exciting new initiative to promote oral health among children. Through a series of short, animated videos featuring an oral health mascot called Toothie – a friendly, cartoon beaver – Mouth Patrol aims to communicate good oral health habits to children of different age groups. To be as inclusive as possible, the animated videos are produced without sound and text.

So far, we have received enthusiastic feedback and engagement from many of our National Dental Associations (NDAs). I encourage all our NDAs to share the Mouth Patrol videos via their respective networks, so we can maximize the campaign’s overall audience and impact.

A new video in the series will be released every Tuesday for the next three months. So, stay tuned to FDI’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and YouTube channel for more oral health messages from Toothie!

Caries prevention survey

We are currently conducting a survey to evaluate the Caries Prevention and Management Chairside Guide. The Caries Prevention Partnership between FDI and Colgate released this guide at last year’s FDI World Dental Congress in Madrid as a way to advise clinicians on restorative interventions with their patients. I hope you will complete this survey – your feedback matters as we continue to improve and build upon our resources. The guide and survey are available in eight languages: English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President


Upcoming travel

FDI Mid-Year Meeting
Coralville, United States • 30 April - 3 May 2018

40th Asia Pacific Dental Congress
Manila, Philippines • 7-11 May 2018

Temple University School of Dentistry
Philadelphia, United States • 18 May 2018

Armenian Dental Association Congress
Yerevan, Armenia • 23-26 May 2018

Armenian Dental Association Congress
Stepanakert, Armenia • 28 May 2018


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