A new decade to build ties near and far

03 February 2020


Happy Tooth


FDI President Gerhard Seeberger

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President

Happy New Year! I want to wish you all the best for 2020. This is the start of a very exciting decade for oral health.

Let us build our future together


At the French Dental Association’s (ADF) International Conference and Exhibition at the Palais des Congrès de Paris in November, under the theme Let us build our future together, Secretaries General Drs Joël Trouillet and Julien Laupie gave me a very warm welcome. We attended a working lunch together, along with FDI President Elect Prof. Ihsane Ben Yahya, FDI Past President Dr Patrick Hescot, FDI committee members Dr Sophie Dartevelle, Dr Roland L’Herron, and FDI industry partners. We discussed how to make oral health an essential contributing factor to achieving UHC. 

I also had the unique opportunity to have fruitful conversations with many leaders from our francophone FDI member National Dental Associations. My visit to ADF could not have ended better: I participated in an awards ceremony for the best dental doctoral theses, followed by a dinner organized by Sophie and Julien together with the young members of ADF leadership.

Celebrating the centennial in Tel Aviv


The Israel Dental Association (IDA) celebrated their centennial in Tel Aviv in December, where I conveyed my best wishes for the next century. In my speech at the opening ceremony, I addressed IDA’s leadership, including President Dr Lior Katsap, Immediate Past President Dr Itzhak Chen, IDA National Liaison Officer to FDI Dr Haim Neuman, Central Committee Chair Dr Mendel, Central District Chair Dr Avi Aharonovich, Jerusalem District Chair Dr Bernard Rotenberg and North District Chair Dr Eliezer Salomon, as well as all friends and participants. I had the honour to congratulate the IDA on their many endeavors to assist the people of Israel in maintaining their oral health. I also had a brief conversation with the FDI Public Health Committee Chair Prof. Shlomo Zusman, who also represents Israel’s Ministry of Health.


A special moment was when I personally conferred the title of IDA Honorary President to Immediate Past President Dr Itzhak Chen. I also assisted at the awards ceremony, which honoured many outstanding IDA members for their valuable contributions over the years. So many moments made my trip special: meetings and talks during the Gala Dinner, good conversations while strolling through old Jaffa, meeting the world-famous illusionist Uri Geller, and taking a boat ride along the shores of Tel Aviv.

Back to Geneva

Right from Israel, I travelled to Geneva, where I had the privilege and duty to chair my second Executive Committee meeting. It was a very successful one, and I appreciate the strong commitment of the team, leadership, and staff members alike. We reviewed the promising results of our current projects, confirmed our stable financial situation, and dealt successfully with other agenda items, particularly our organizational strategy and ongoing advocacy goals. 

The future of oral health in Saudi Arabia

The 2020 Saudi International Dental Congress (SIDC 2020) just finished in Riyadh. While there, I was invited by Saudi Dental Society (SDS) Immediate Past President Dr Meshari Al-Otaibi to a dinner organized by SDS Past President and founder of Riyadh Elm University (REU) Prof. Abdullah Al Shammery. Before sitting down to dinner, we had a vivid discussion on dentistry in Saudi Arabia, speaking specifically about the formation of the future Saudi oral health workforce. In addition to important Saudi colleagues from the SDS, our group included Vice Rector of REU Prof. Mansour Assery and several high-level representatives from the Saudi Ministry of Health, including the General Director of the Dental Department of the Ministry of Health Dr Saud Orfali.

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President



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