Global Periodontal Health
The GPH Task Team meeting was an opportunity to lay down firm definitions of terms, establish objectives, outline a work programme, nominate project leaders, set parameters for achievement and develop a project timeline. Among expected outcomes are toolkits for dental practitioners and oral health advocates.
All in all, it was an exceptionally productive two days and very much in line with FDI’s impetus to achieve concrete goals in oral health. I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Task Team members the five Council Standing Committees (Dr Sally Hewett, Education; Dr Ward Van Dijk, Dental Practice; Prof. Jo Frencken, Public Health; Prof. Harry-Sam Selikowitz, Science; and Prof. Nikolai Sharkov, Membership Liaison and Support), FDI Councillor Prof Lijian Jin, and, from the FDI office Mr Enzo Bondioni, Executive Director, and Dr Virginie Horn, Director of Education and Public Health.
Quality in Dentistry
The QID workshop is another recently launched initiative which is now off to a good start. The first workshop, held in Amstelveen on 27 and 28 October, brought together seven participants, including moderator Dr Ward van Dijk, chair of the FDI Dental Practice Committee.
The workshop discussed the issue from three perspectives: the meaning of quality in dentistry; the main challenges to measuring quality; and a conceptual framework highlighting the areas of work for the dental profession to focus on to improve the quality of care.
I commend workshop participants for the exceptional work in a short time frame: Dr Ward van Dijk (Netherlands), Dr Roland L’Herron (France), Dr William Ken Rich (USA), Dr Martin Tickle (United Kingdom), Dr Marc Tennant (Australia), Dr Callum Durward (Cambodia) and Dr Gregory G. Zeller (USA), as well as FDI staff member Tina Hong-Kaiser and consultant Téa Collins.
National Dental Associations
I had the pleasure of catching up with friends and colleagues in Germany and the United States during the respective annual meetings of the German Dental Association (Bundeszahnärztekammer - BZAEK) and the American Dental Association. Both countries are founding members of FDI in 1900 and have made, and continue to make significant contributions to our federation’s work.
In Germany, during the German Dental Days in later October, I met with Drs Peter Engel and Philippe Rusca, respectively Presidents of BZAEK and the FDI European Regional Organization (ERO), to discuss issues of mutual concern.
In particular, we spoke about issues oral health and human migration in the light of the ongoing crisis in Europe. The challenges from the dental practitioner’s perspective is encountering and treating unfamiliar oral conditions and unresolved issues of funding.
The American Dental Association reserved an especially warm welcome at ADA 2015, a characteristically large event in the world dental calendar, and at House of Delegates, the ADA equivalent of the General Assembly.
On the side lines of the meeting, I discussed issues relating to dental practice and continuing education in the United States with friends and colleagues including FDI President-Elect Kathy Kell, National Liaison Officer Greg Chadwick, newly-installed ADA president Carol Gomez Summerhays and immediate past-president Maxine Feinberg.
Understanding and communicating the various challenges and issues facing the dental profession is an essential task of the FDI President – the more so since these vary widely not only from country to country but also within countries themselves.