FDI World Dental Federation Report: Recap of the Annual World Dental Congress


Dr. Jack Cottrell of Port Perry, Ontario, sits on the Governing Council of FDI. Dr. Cottrell provided JCDA with highlights from the 2011 AWDC in Mexico City.

Over 5000 participants from across the globe attended the 99th FDI Annual World Dental Congress (AWDC), hosted in Mexico City from September 14 to 17.

Canadian Connection

The official Canadian delegation in Mexico City—Dr. Robert MacGregor, Dr. Robert Sutherland, Dr. Ronald Smith and Mr. Claude Paul Boivin—all made valuable contributions at the various FDI meetings and events. The delegation provided thoughtful input at the FDI General Assembly sessions and reinforced CDA’s strong relations with other national dental associations.

Members of the Canadian delegation also contribute to the administration of FDI. For instance, CDA president Dr. MacGregor served as chair of FDI’s Budget Reference Committee in Mexico, while Dr. Smith, CDA’s immediate past-president, sits as a member of the FDI Congress Committee Task Team.

Other Canadians making their mark in Mexico included Dr. Peter Cooney, Canada’s Chief Dental Officer. Dr. Cooney presented to the General Assembly on how FDI is working with Chief Dental Officers around the world to achieve best outcomes for global oral health, especially in the areas of disease prevention, health promotion and needs assessments.

Dr. Derek Jones of Halifax is the chair of ISO/TC106, the technical committee that oversees international dental standards. Dr. Jones presented at the General Assembly in support of FDI’s newly proposed Caries Classification and Management Matrix—a tool currently being developed by FDI’s Science Committee. The new matrix would update the caries classification model developed by G.V. Black in the early 1900s and which is still widely used today. If fully implemented, the new matrix would enable a shift to a more preventive model of oral health care and strategically place dentistry within the broader oral health–general health continuum.

FDI Strategic Plan

The General Assembly approved a new Strategic Plan in Mexico City to achieve FDI’s vision of “Leading the World to Optimal Oral Health.” The 4 missions that will be promoted to achieve this vision are: to be the worldwide authoritative body on oral health; to promote optimal oral health through effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment; to strengthen the voice of dentistry internationally; and to advance oral health, with a specific focus on dentistry, its science, study, ethics and practice.

FDI adopted position statements in Mexico on dental bleaching materials and on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The statement on NCDs, drafted by FDI with the World Health Professions’ Alliance (WHPA), affirms a recognition of the social determinants of health and the common risk factor approach to health. It positions dentists as primary health care providers working collaboratively with medical professionals to establish a prevention model of dental medicine.

FDI and the WHPA launched an “NCD Action Toolkit” in the days leading up to the 2011 FDI Congress. Among other information, the toolkit contains a Health Improvement Card designed to educate individuals on positive behaviour and lifestyle choices. The toolkit describes how people can avoid tobacco use and harmful alcohol consumption; improve diet and maintain a healthy weight; undertake regular physical activity; and screen for preventable illness.


Dr. Orlando Monteiro da Silva of Portugal was formally inducted as the new FDI president for a 2-year term. In other election results, Dr. T.C. Wong of Hong Kong was voted FDI president-elect, while Dr. Kathy Kell of the United States was elected treasurer and Dr. Neil Hewson of Australia was named the new speaker.

The 100th FDI Congress will take place in Hong Kong from August 29 to September 1, 2012. Canadian dentists should make plans to attend this historic anniversary, as the Hong Kong Dental Association promises an unforgettable event.