Overcoming common challenges

28 November 2018


Overcoming common challenges

FDI President Kathy Kell

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President

The year 2018 is quickly coming to an end, but FDI’s members continue to ramp up their efforts to tackle local and global issues affecting oral health.

Promoting knowledge exchange

I had the pleasure of catching up with members from the German Dental Association (Bundeszahnärztekammer – BZÄK) as well as many other members in Europe during BZÄK’s German Dental Days in Frankfurt, Germany. German Dental Days opened in the evening with presentations focusing on issues affecting German dentists as well as many of us globally. Speakers included: Dr Michael Walter, president of the German Society of Dental Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, Dr Wolfgang Esser, chairman of the Board of the Federal Authority of the Statuary Health Insurance Dentists and BZÄK President Dr Peter Engel. The keynote address was given by the German philosopher Prof. Julian Nida-Rumelin from the Ludwig Maximilian University, who talked about the importance of maintaining trust in the age of digitalization. After this interesting programme, we all had some time to network and I spoke with Dr Marco Landi, president of the Council of European Dentists (CED) about the upcoming CED meeting that plans to discuss regulatory issues facing the dental profession. I also had a chance to meet with Dr Juliane von Hoyningen-Huene from Dentista and learned about their upcoming programme in Berlin on women in dentistry.

Strengthening our membership

My flight arrived late in Porto, Portugal, for the 27th Congress of the Portuguese Dental Association (Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas - OMD). Fortunately, FDI President-elect Dr Gerhard Seeberger, who also attended the meeting, delivered the opening remarks in my absence. On the opening night of the congress, OMD held a spectacular dinner at the Alfândega do Porto – the old Porto Customs House. That evening we were entertained by an outstanding group of saxophone and brass musicians and for those adventurous souls (not me!) there was dancing and a contemporary band until 5 AM.

The next day there was a special ceremony to celebrate over 350 new members joining OMD. Dr Seeberger and I were very pleased to take part in this event as it was inspiring to see the new members proudly walk across the stage to become a part of OMD. Later that evening, we enjoyed a dinner with OMD members and many other FDI members from Europe and abroad. While in Porto, Dr Paulo Melo, FDI council member and president of the OMD General Council, gave us a tour of Porto as well as the University of Porto which has an impressive campus for dentistry.

Championing preventive oral care

My final stop was Mexico City, Mexico, where I attended the XXXVI ADM-AMIC 2018 (International Congress of Dentistry hosted by the Asociación Dental Mexicana (ADM)). ADM President Dr Laura Diaz Guzman and ADM Foundation President Dr Jaime Edelson greeted us at the Monument for the Revolution for the ADM Foundation Medal Ceremony where the mayor of Mexico City and I were presented with medals for our work on oral health. ADM’s Foundation has worked tirelessly with the government of Mexico City to bring preventive oral care to schools in the city. Congratulations to ADM and Mexico City for your dedication to improving the oral health of your citizens!

Dr Kell at the ADM-AMIC 2018 meeting

The next day I attended the Opening Ceremonies of the congress and ADM’s House of Delegates General Assembly where I gave an opening address and discussed FDI’s strategic priorities and activities. During the meeting, Dr Manuel Martinez was elected President-elect of ADM. Later that night, we attended a dinner organized by Colgate where many dentists and a cardiologist gave presentations on the key role that prevention plays in maintaining good oral health and overall health and well-being.

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President


New resources

Don’t forget to regularly check the World Oral Health Day website for resources. New WOHD resources this month include:



Upcoming travel

ADF Annual Dental Meeting
Paris, France • 27 November - 1 December 2018

FDI Executive Committee Meeting
Geneva, Switzerland • 1–2 December 2018

1st International Dental Congress of the Arab Dental Federation
Cairo, Egypt • 10–14 December 2018


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