FDI World Dental Federation Report

March 22, 2011

Dr. Jack Cottrell of Port Perry, Ontario, is a member of the FDI World Dental Federation Council. Dr. Cottrell provided JCDA with an update on FDI’s activities.

FDI Annual World Dental Congress

Excitement is building for the 2011 Annual World Dental Congress in Mexico City. With the theme “New Horizons in Oral Health Care,” this year’s congress will offer dentists a platform to learn and exchange ideas with colleagues and internationally renowned speakers. Our scientific program will be complemented by a large commercial exhibit display. I would urge all Canadian dentists to mark September 14 to 17 on their calendars and plan to attend this event. Visit www.fdicongress.org for all FDI congress details.

New FDI Executive Director

After an exhaustive search and interview process, Dr. Jean-Luc Eisele has been appointed executive director of FDI. Dr. Eisele has a strong scientific background, having earned a PhD in microbiology from Basel University in Switzerland. He has a very impressive resume demonstrating exceptional management, leadership and financial skills in the health care field. He will be a huge asset for FDI as we increase our ambitious global communication, promotion and advocacy initiatives.

Mercury and Dental Amalgam

Dr. Peter Cooney, Canada’s Chief Dental Officer, is a member of FDI’s Mercury Task Team. This group recently attended the second session of the United Nations Environmental Program’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to prepare a global legally binding instrument on mercury.

The Mercury Task Team is working closely with other stakeholders to educate and inform the INC about the important role dental amalgam should continue to play in maintaining and protecting global public health. The task team highlighted the dental profession’s strategies that support effective, sustainable preventive programs which aim to reduce caries. The goal of these programs is to encourage an overall reduction in the use of all restorative materials (including dental amalgam) and ensure optimal oral health. FDI Council has authorized a communication strategy that will reinforce and strengthen these messages to the benefit of the global profession.

Noncommunicable Diseases

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are a popular topic on the global health care agenda. They pose a serious, expensive and growing threat to global human health and development. The 4 major NCDs are cancer, chronic lung disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. All of these major NCDs have common and strong links to oral health. The World Health Organization estimates that NCDs are responsible for 60% of global deaths—or about 35 million people a year. These numbers are expected to increase by 17% globally and by 27% in Africa over the next 10 years. Dentists can play an important role in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment of NCDs. The FDI is partnering with other professional organizations on an ambitious NCD global advocacy and awareness campaign aimed at health professionals,  patients and governments. The campaign will target the common risk factors and social determinants of health.

FDI Programs

FDI’s ongoing initiatives include the Global Caries Initiative, Live Laugh Learn, Global Oral Health Strategy, and access to care issues. Suffice to say, the challenges facing oral health and the dental profession are global in nature and global solutions must be found. What happens outside Canada will inevitably influence what happens inside Canada—which could drastically alter the way we deliver care unless our voice continues to be heard on the international stage.

For more information, visit www.fdiworldental.org.

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