Letter from the President: News to share as we greet the autumn season

01 October 2020


FDI President Gerhard Seeberger

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President

A message to my friends and colleagues

While the season ahead may be uncertain, we can certainly count on FDI to deliver cutting-edge webinars and new resources to support oral health professionals around the world deliver optimal oral care to all. 

FDI remembers Dr Arthur A. Dugoni, honorary member and former FDI Treasurer, an eminent figure in dentistry in the United States and abroad 

Some stars go out – others shine forever. It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Dr Arthur ‘Art’ A. Dugoni, our former Treasurer and Executive Committee member (1992-1998) and part of the prestigious FDI List of Honour, which recognizes a select number of individuals worldwide who have made distinguished contributions to dentistry. Art passed away on 23 September. My thoughts and prayers are with the whole Dugoni family during this sad time. 

Art was an American leader in dentistry and dental education. He was the former dean (1978-2006) of the dental school that was eventually named after him, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific in California. 

In addition to leading the University of the Pacific dental school for 28 years, he served as president of the California Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association and the American Board of Orthodontics. 

Before serving on FDI Council, Art was elected the chair of the Finance Committee (1991-1998) and was a member of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee (1991, 1996, and 1997). 

Please join me in thanking Dr Dugoni for his immeasurable contributions to dentistry at home and abroad. His contributions to the dental profession and his constant engagement for future dental practice and practitioners will always be a treasure in our hearts.

Send a memorial gift

Memorial gifts may be made to the Art Dugoni Scholar Fund, an endowment that will support a Dugoni dental student. Visit the fund’s site or call the dental school’s office of development at +1-415-929-6406.

Important update for FDI members regarding 2020 FDI Policy Statements

As the first part of the voting process has finished, I want to give you an important update on how we will manage the 2020 FDI Policy Statements process. 

As the General Assembly was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the development process of the 2020 FDI Policy Statements has changed. Given that no Open Forum took place, members will be able to give a second round of written feedback instead. 

The draft 2020 FDI Policy Statements have recently been circulated to all FDI members for a second opportunity to provide feedback, with a final deadline of Sunday, 31 January 2021

This second round of feedback will be shared with the appropriate Standing Committee to review. These Policy Statements will then undergo final editorial review and the translations will be updated. Members will be able to view these Policy Statements between February and August 2021 on the FDI website. 

During the General Assembly 2021, these draft Policy Statements will be formally voted on. There will not be a debate on the content or an opportunity to suggest any changes at this time. Therefore, please send any feedback or comments on the 2020 FDI Policy Statements to FDI headquarters before 31 January 2021.

The Policy Statement development process for 2021 will return to normal, including the regular feedback and debate during the Open Forum.

These unprecedented circumstances require everyone’s flexibility – I thank you already in advance for your patience as we navigate this situation together.  

Vision 2030: Delivering Optimal Oral Health for All report up for a vote of approval

The Vision 2030 report was recently submitted to the General Assembly for a formal vote of approval, with a decision due by 30 November. We very much appreciate the invaluable feedback we received from our members during the numerous consultations over the past several months. 

I want to thank the Vision 2030 Working Group for their exceptional work on this report. Special recognition also goes to the Vision 2030 Co-Chairs Profs. Michael Glick and David Williams for leading this process. 


Upcoming webinar on the FDI Oral Health Campus - Save the date

What? Partially Dentate Patients

When? 7 October 12 PM BST (London)

Who? FDI experts Prof. Finbarr Allen, Prof. Angus Walls, and Dr William Cheung


During this first webinar in a two-part series, our three FDI experts will present the literature and scientific evidence behind the pre-treatment, treatment and maintenance care options specific to partially dentate patients.

I hope you’ll join us. 

FDI publishes Oral health in comprehensive cleft care guidelines and organizes a webinar

Rehabilitation and care of children living with clefts often involves the core specialties of nursing, plastic surgery, speech therapy, and orthodontics. However, dental care should also be added to the care continuum for cleft patients to ensure adequate access to dental services and to integrate oral health considerations across the care pathway.

To support this integration, oral health professionals must receive accurate, quality guidance and education in caring for cleft patients.

FDI and oral health non-profit Smile Train have worked together to produce a brand-new resource on the standard of oral health and integration of dental care for children and adults with clefts. You can download the guidelines here. I, along with representatives from Smile Train and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSK), presented these guidelines during a webinar on our FDI Oral Health Campus on 29 September. Visit the Oral Health Campus to watch the webinar at your leisure. 

Thank you very much to our long-time partner GSK for their support to make this ambitious project a reality.

Staying safe and healthy in the season ahead

As we greet the autumn season, I think we can say that much has been learned and implemented over the past several months to tackle the coronavirus. The dental profession has demonstrated that it is able and equipped to continue to treat patients responsibly and safely. Although this does not mean that we can relax, it gives us a message of hope.

I want to thank you for your tireless commitment to dentistry and oral healthcare in these trying times. I continue to stand in solidarity with each of you in this collective effort to limit infection and slow the spread of this virus.

Always keep up your good spirit and stay safe!

Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger

FDI President



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