Strengthening our ties and knowledge together

27 September 2018


FDI President Kathy Kell

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President

September was an eventful month at FDI. It began with the FDI World Dental Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, then a sojourn in Montevideo, Uruguay, and ended with a visit to Lisbon, Portugal, for the launch of an exciting initiative to integrate dental clinics into primary healthcare facilities.

Highlights from Buenos Aires

The 2018 FDI World Dental Congress (FDI WDC) officially kicked off with an Opening Ceremony that was very entertaining. After some inspiring speeches, there was a traditional flag ceremony, a performance by beautiful tango dancers, and a surprise grand finale performance by Gaucho Folklórico dancers.

The Scientific Programme and World Oral Health Forum were again excellent this year. It was pleasing to see so many participants attend a range of sessions and the industry exhibition proved to be a must-see event. A number of launches and special sessions also took place, including the 2019 World Oral Health Day Campaign Launch and joint FDI-NCD Alliance-World Health Organization session on curbing sugar consumption. Many of our members and partners sponsored events too and I thank you for your generous support. During the bustle of the congress, FDI committees and task teams held their annual meetings sharing reports, reviewing priorities and preparing for 2019 projects and activities. I encourage you to read a detailed overview of the congress in our latest edition of FDI News, where you will find key decisions made at the General Assembly on membership and policy statements.

FDI Council at Gala Dinner in Buenos Aires

The congress concluded with the Gala Dinner which everyone looks forward to. This year’s Gala Dinner was truly outstanding and a big celebration for all the work carried out. CORA, our hosts, organized a band that played music from many different cultures and generations – several of our members enjoyed the celebration so much that they joined in by dancing and even singing. As they say... “a good time was had by all”! Thank you again to CORA and to all attendees who made the trip to Buenos Aires for the congress. We are inspired to take all the learning to San Francisco, United States for the next FDI WDC in September 2019 and hope to see you there!

Connecting with members

Dr Kathryn Kell and Dr Gerhard Seeberger visit the odontology campus at the Catholic University of Uruguay

After the congress, FDI President-Elect Gerhard Seeberger and I went to Montevideo, Uruguay, to visit the Uruguay Dental Association (AOU Asociación Odontológica Uruguaya). Montevideo should be more famous because of its beautiful coastline, beaches and wonderful people. It is an undiscovered beauty. AOU President Dr Enrique Laxague escorted us to Punta del Este and the next day we met with Prof. Raúl Riva Bernasconi, dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of the Republic of Uruguay (Universidad de la República) and Prof. Federico Todeschini Safi, dean of the School of Dentistry at the Catholic University of Uruguay (Universidad Católica del Uruguay) – these are the two dental universities in Montevideo. We also attended a reception at the AOU headquarters and enjoyed an evening with AOU members, Profs. Bernasconi and Todeschini Safi, and members from other organizations in Uruguay. Thank you, Dr Laxague, for the warm welcome and opportunity to meet with the AOU.

Integrating oral health into healthcare systems

Children at the Oral Health For All event in Lisbon

After Uruguay I went home briefly and then headed to Lisbon, Portugal, for a very important event where the Ministry of Health launched a new programme integrating oral health into their National Health System Clinics. Over 60 municipalities pledged to integrate oral health clinics into the health systems of all 300 municipal areas. During the launch, I had the opportunity to meet with Minister of Health Adalberto Campos Fernandes and discussed oral health priorities for the upcoming United Nations High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (UN HLM on NCDs) which will take place on Thursday, 27 September. I will be attending the UN HLM on NCDs and will report back on the outcomes from this meeting. A big thank you to Dr Orlando Monteiro da Silva, president of the Portuguese Dental Association, for facilitating these introductions. I am also very optimistic that this programme can inspire other countries with the support of their National Dental Associations (NDAs) to better integrate oral health into healthcare systems.

Call for case studies from members

FDI is seeking case studies from NDAs so that we can share best practices and experiences from the field. If your NDA has successful examples of campaigns to raise the profile of oral health and integrate oral heath into the health agenda, I highly encourage you to contact us at

Upcoming FDI-NCD Alliance Webinar

Later in November this year, FDI will co-host a webinar with the NCD Alliance. The webinar will focus on how the oral health community can engage in the NCD response and will showcase successful examples from FDI NDAs and NCD Alliance Coalitions. The exact date and registration details for the webinar will be communicated in October.

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President


New resources

During the FDI WDC, a number of new resources were launched:

New FDI Policy Statements

Dental Ethics Manual 2

Advocacy leaflet and Roadmap for Health Ageing

Chairside Guide Oral Cancer: Prevention and Patient Management

Key lessons from the valuation of the Caries Prevention and Management Chairside Guide

A special free virtual issue on oral health for older adults in the International Dental Journal (IDJ)

Free access abstracts of the FDI WDC in the IDJ



Upcoming travel

United Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs
New York, United States • 27 September 2018


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