A united front for oral health

30 October 2019


Dr Seeberger with Polish Society


FDI President Gerhard Seeberger

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President

It has been a thrill to fill the first few months of my presidency with fruitful exchanges on oral health with colleagues and friends from around the world.

Building strong ties in Poland

While in Poznan at the 3rd Polish Dentistry Union Congress organized by the Polish Dental Association, FDI Education Committee member Prof. Marzena Dominiak, Prof. Tomasz Gedrange and I met with the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health Prof. Tomasz Grodzki. During our meeting, we discussed healthcare system financing, how education can help build a health-literate population with a special focus on oral health, the prevention of noncommunicable diseases, including oral diseases, and the recent United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Prof. Grodzki assured me that he would personally commit to raising the profile of oral health on the political agenda in his government. He revealed that he sees a concrete possibility for an oral health department within the Ministry of Health. After the congress, during my stopover in Warsaw, I also visited the Polish Chamber of Physicians and Dentists to meet President Andrzej Matyja and Vice President Andrzej Cislo. We spoke about the importance of FDI membership and other tenets of FDI’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan.

Dr Seeberger with Prof. Dominiak
Dr Seeberger with FDI Education Committee member Prof. Marzena Dominiak

Towards optimal oral health for all

My first visit to Italy as FDI president was to my home association, the AIO Italian Dental Association. Under the theme Dentists for Tomorrow, they united all stakeholders in Italian dentistry at their national congress to discuss the keys to secure optimal oral health for all.

Dr Seeberger with President of Lebanon Michel Aoun and Prof. Mounir Doumit

Securing optimal oral health for all is no easy feat, and this was a hot topic at the Lebanese Dental Association’s (LDA) 29th International Dental Meeting. I discussed this in-detail with the FDI Oral Health Observatory (OHO) team in Lebanon, Drs Dany Daou and Mohamad Machmouchi. We talked about the development of the OHO project, especially the difficulties we face in carrying out the project in rural areas. To improve oral health in a difficult reality like Lebanon, the focus must be on prevention of oral diseases by enabling people to adopt a healthy diet and good oral hygiene habits, including brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.

The highlight of this trip was my visit to the presidential palace for a meeting with President Michel Aoun of Lebanon. He welcomed the continued engagement of the LDA in bringing the state-of-the-art technologies in dentistry to the country to benefit the Lebanese people. I also stressed the importance of the implementation of UHC in Lebanon, which is for sure a challenge, but by the same token, I believe it could become a model for the entire Middle East region.

Dr Seeberger with President of Lebanon Michel Aoun

Bavarian dentists support childrens’ oral health

I was honoured to attend the 60th celebration of the Bavarian Dental Chamber. During the celebration, inaugurated by Chamber President Christian Berger, Minister of Health of the State of Bavaria Dr Melanie Huml highlighted the achievements of Bavarian dentists in the field of oral disease prevention in children – a staggering 3,000 dentists support oral disease prevention and oral health promotion in kindergartens and schools. The ministry has allocated millions of euros to actively back further initiatives. She also addressed challenges related to the increasing oral health needs of the elderly as well as the growing numbers of migrants to treat – a pressing issue for many countries around the world today.

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President


Upcoming travel

German Dental Days
14 November 2019 • Berlin, Germany

OMD Portuguese Dental Association Congress
15-16 November 2019 • Lisbon, Portugal


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