12 March 2019
IDS 2019: “Urgent need to address oral health”
According to FDI World Dental Federation, half of the world’s population is affected by oral diseases. But “oral health is still not considered a priority issue by governments,“ FDI President Dr Kathryn Kell deplores. She discusses the situation with DIE MESSE.
Dr Kathryn Kell, the FDI World Dental Federation‘s performance at the trade show IDS-International Dental Show is quite important: you have a stand in Hall 11 as well as in the Passage between Hall 10 and 11. What are your priorities this year?
FDI World Dental Federation organises events on oral health,
here the World Dental Congress 2018 in Buenos Aires.
The IDS – International Dental Show is a great opportunity for FDI to meet in person with our corporate partners who help support our projects and campaigns so that we can fulfil our vision of leading the world to optimal oral health, network with dentists from around the world as well as promote our activities widely.
We’re particularly excited about our 2019 World Oral Health Day (WOHD) campaign, under the theme of “Say Ahh: Act on Mouth Health”, we want to motivate people to take charge of their oral health and practice good oral hygiene habits as well as manage risk factors so that good oral health and general health can be secured. IDS is a great way for us to engage with oral health professionals, who see patients every day, and make them aware of the tools we have developed to aid them in their patient care as well as encourage them to celebrate WOHD in their clinics and practices.
IDS is also an opportunity for us to raise awareness of the FDI World Dental Congress, which will be held this year in San Francisco, USA, from 5 to 9 September. This is FDI’s annual flagship event and a key date for the oral health community. The Congress features top-notch courses and dynamic workshops in all fields of dentistry and oral health as well as hundreds of booths displaying the latest oral health products and services. It’s the ideal platform for member NDAs, industries and other stakeholders to meet and collaborate.
FDI is going to build up a database on oral health within its Vision 2020 project. What‘s the status quo of the global oral health situation?
There is an urgent need worldwide to address oral health. Oral diseases are the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs); oral diseases affect half of the world’s population (3.58 billion people). Despite the high social and economic burden of oral disease, oral health is still not considered a priority issue by governments and has remained a low priority on the global health and development agenda.
As part of our Vision 2020 advocacy work, we’ve developed a strategy to increase oral health literacy and achieve political commitment and action on oral health in all countries. The three pillars of FDI’s advocacy strategy are to ensure oral health is recognized and accepted as a core element of general health; to integrate oral health into prevention and treatment of other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs); and to mobilize members to build national capacity to effectively influence and shape oral health priorities. In order to monitor progress in oral health in a consistent way globally, FDI launched a new definition in 2016 and is now in the process of finalizing a set of indicators that can help in the surveillance and monitoring of oral diseases.
Can you give us a rough global outlook about the challenges dental and oral health are facing, both in advanced economies – Western Europe and North America – and in developing economies?
All major NCDs, including most oral diseases, share the same social determinants. The social determinants of health are the circumstances into which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances, which largely determine the behaviours people adopt and the choices they make, are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, education, politics and many more. The unequal distribution of all these determining factors accounts for the persisting and growing global differences in health status and disease burden.
We need to develop a broader integrative strategy that considers the common risk factors and the root determinants of health to create fair and equitable approaches to promoting better oral health and general health.
Dental caries is probably the most common oral disease representing a significant economic burden on health systems worldwide. What hinders us to completely overcome tooth decay?
Indeed, dental caries are the most widespread chronic disease worldwide and constitutes a major global public health challenge. It is estimated that 2.4 billion people suffer from caries of permanent teeth and 486 million children suffer from caries of primary teeth. Despite the widespread nature of dental caries, reliable, standardized global data are limited. This is largely because oral health data are not integrated in national disease surveillance, particularly in low-and middle-income countries. This lack of up-to-date epidemiologic information constrains the development of appropriate approaches to reduce the disease burden. In addition, sugar is a major risk factor for dental caries and there must be effective policies in place to ensure exposure to food and drinks high in added sugars is limited and healthy diets are promoted.
IDS is showcasing a series of new dental materials like ceramics for the restoration of teeth, but also 3-D printing technology that uses plastic to manufacture dental models. Hence, are we going to see the future of dentistry and oral medicine in Cologne?
Digital dentistry, including CAD/CAM is a priority for us at FDI. It’s certainly a hot topic that we’ve taken an interest in as an organization for some time. CAD/CAM processes concern all branches of dentistry involving custom-made medical devices, including restorative dentistry, prosthetic dentistry, dental implant procedures, and orthodontics, all of which having seen new or improved therapeutic solutions emerging from the use of CAD/CAM technologies.
We support a strong collaboration between manufacturers, academics and all stakeholders in continuous education, to better inform and educate dentists on innovative therapeutic solutions, their indications and contra-indications. We also support the implementation of initial formation and continuous professional development on CAD/CAM dentistry, for dentists and laboratory technicians, at the national, regional and international level.
The IDS – International Dental Show is regarded as the performance show of the industry. What are you particularly curious about this year here in Cologne?
IDS is a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with our partners and supporters in the dental industry. They are the ones who help FDI deliver on its mission, and it is a privilege for me to meet them face to face during this event.