Paving the way towards optimal oral health

27 November 2019


FDI President at BZAK


FDI President Gerhard Seeberger

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President

Since my appointment in September I have met with many of our members to understand their national challenges and approaches. One thing has become very clear to me – our truly diverse membership share a united passion to improve oral health and the practice of dentistry.

Exploring solutions to today’s oral health challenges

I returned to Germany this month for German Dental Days organized by the German Dental Association (Bundeszahnärztekammer – BZÄK) where I was welcomed by BZÄK President Peter Engel. German Dental Days has always been, and still is, a key event for FDI’s European members – it was a pleasure to talk to many representatives from FDI’s European Regional Organization in attendance. During German Dental Days, BZAK’s General Assembly meet to address pressing challenges and issues facing oral health and the profession in Germany. This year the Assembly adopted several resolutions to promote and safeguard the future of dentistry, including fostering the compatibility of family and career, reducing bureaucracy, and stopping the commodification of the oral health profession.

Moving towards oral health for all

I then made a quick stop in Lisbon, Portugal, for the 28th Congress of the Portuguese Dental Association (Ordem dos Médicos Dentistas - OMD). During the opening ceremony I had the opportunity to address our Portuguese colleagues and congratulate them on the success of the National Programme for the Promotion of Oral Health. This programme, spearheaded by the Portuguese Ministry of Health and OMD, integrates dentists into primary healthcare centres in order to provide access to oral health care services to those who need them the most. This initiative is instrumental to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in Portugal – UHC is about ensuring all individuals and communities have access to the healthcare they need.

FDI President at OMD
Dr Seeberger on stage at OMD in Lisbon

It was encouraging to see so many government officials and policymakers from different sectors at the congress, including the State Secretary for Health António Sales and the President of the Economic and Social Council of Portugal António Correia de Campos. I had a pleasant talk with the Secretary of State for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers André Moz Caldas on generating funds to be allocated to the national health system in Portugal, as well as with the Military Health Director Rear Admiral José Manuel Jesus Silva and OMD President Orlando Monteiro da Silva.

At the congress I also participated in the Military Session and in panels on Sectoral Competences in Dentistry which discussed many topics, including healthcare services management, forensic dentistry, facial harmonization, acupuncture in dentistry, sports dentistry, sleep dentistry, conscious sedation, ozone therapy in dentistry, and occupational oral health. I was delighted to deliver a speech at the closing ceremony celebrating over 500 new colleagues joining OMD and reminding them that our profession has the ability to improve health outcomes and foster healthier populations globally.

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President


New resources

The full proceedings of the Whole Mouth Health (WMH) summit organized at the 2019 ADA FDI World Dental Congress are now available.



Upcoming travel

ADF (Association dentaire française) Annual Dental Meeting
26–30 November 2019 • Paris, France

Israeli Dental Association Congress
4–6 December 2019 • Tel Aviv, Israel

FDI Executive Committee Meeting
7–8 December 2019 • Geneva, Switzerland


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