16,197: that is the final tally of visitors attending the 2013 FDI Annual World Dental Congress (AWDC) and Exhibition, held in Istanbul (Turkey) from 28 to 31 August 2013. That makes it the biggest FDI congress for over one decade; that also makes it the largest medical congress ever held in Turkey.
The scientific programme comprised a total of 170 speakers covering all aspects of dentistry today, with an extensive schedule of lectures and interactive sessions over the four-day period. It also featured well over 800 poster presentations, of which 15 were moderated poster sessions, and an additional 347 oral presentations.
The congress exhibition was also one of the most extensive in recent times, with over 6,000 square metres allocated.
Astonishing “These are truly astonishing results for an exceptional FDI Annual World Dental Congress,” said FDI President Dr Tin Chun Wong. “They demonstrate without any doubt that FDI is the key player in dentistry on a global level and the voice of dentists worldwide. Thanks once again to our hosts the Turkish Dental Association (TDA) for all the time, effort and commitment in organizing such a successful event.”
“We are very happy with the results of the 101st FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Istanbul,” added TDA President Prof Taner Yücel. “It has been an exciting time since we first launched the event back in April 2012. FDI 2103 Istanbul was good for international dentistry, provided a huge boost to Turkey’s already-successful congress sector … and was excellent for TDA and its members throughout the country!”
Public health issues The 2013 AWDC covered a number of important public health policy issues, notably the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and oral health within the context of the United Nations initiative on noncommunicable diseases.
The Minamata Convention, to be signed in Minamata, Japan, in October of this year, is set to regulate the mining, use and trade of mercury. Mercury is a key component of dental amalgam and two congress sessions investigated the likely impact of the Convention on the dental profession.
The post-Minamata world The first of these was the Symposium of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) (‘the Future of Dental Materials for Direct Restoration in a Post Minamata Convention World’).
The subject came under discussion a second time at a World Oral Health Forum entitled ‘How might the Minamata Convention on Mercury Change Dentistry. Panellists were from FDI, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), IADR, the US-based waste management company DRNA and International Dental Manufacturers (IDM).
Active in NCDs FDI has been an active participant in high-level NCD discussions and, working with national governments and partners from the dental sector, it helped ensure that oral health remained on the international NCD agenda.
The congress’ second World Oral Health Forum took up the theme again under the title: ‘Addressing Oral Health into the Global Noncommunicable Diseases Initiative: A focus on the opportunities provides by such integration at regional and country level.
Traditional sessions The congress also featured traditional sessions including the FDI World Military Dental Congress; the Women Dentists Worldwide Forum (with a focus on the ‘Multiple Perspectives related to Different Dependence’); the Young Dentists Worldwide Forum; and a Forum on Preventive Dentistry focussing on problems and solutions from a Central/Eastern European perspective.
‘Istanbul Declaration’ calls for focus on collaborative practice
A declaration by the world’s dentists meeting in Istanbul calls upon national, regional and global health leaders “to recognize oral health as an essential component of global health and promote a reinforced inter-professional collaborative approach in the development of global and national policies”.
The ‘Istanbul Declaration’ was unveiled to the public on 27 August 2013 by the General Assembly of FDI World Dental Federation, meeting in advance of the 101st Annual World Dental Congress, held in Istanbul from 28 to 31 August 2013.
The ‘Declaration’ strongly defends oral health as a fundamental human right and an integrated part of general health and well-being. It further calls upon “FDI and its member associations to support a broadened scope of practice for dentists and underline the need for dentists to expand their role and responsibilities for improving the general health and well-being of the community they serve”.
A tool to raise awareness
“Oral disease is not, in most cases, a life and death issue,” said FDI President Dr Tin Chun Wong. “However, this should not blind us to the fact that toothache equals pain, can mean time off work or school or loss in self-confidence or have other deleterious effects on daily life.”
“That is why it is important for governments worldwide to be aware of oral health and take measures to improve the oral health of their national populations. With the Istanbul Declaration, we now have a tool to impress upon health leaders and policy the urgent need to recognize oral health as an essential component of global health; and, to promote a reinforced interprofessional collaborative approach in the development of global and national policies.”
Proud of Istanbul Declaration
“I, my colleagues at the Turkish Dental Association (TDA, as well as dentists throughout Turkey are particularly proud that we were able to issue an Istanbul Declaration during the course of the FDI 2013 Annual World Dental Congress,” added TDA President Prof Taner Yücel, “It is an important document that should be widely disseminated among our colleagues in other medical professions and health policy makers.”
“I’m sure I join with many of my national and international colleagues in saying I personally believe strongly in the principles and call to action laid down in the Istanbul Declaration,” concluded Prof Yücel. – See more at: http://www.fdiworldental.org/media/press-releases/latest-press-releases/06092013-%E2%80%98istanbul-declaration%E2%80%99-calls-for-focus-on-collaborative-practice.aspx#sthash.V6ZjDhTW.dpuf
FDI World Dental Federation serves as the principal representative body for over one million dentists worldwide. Its membership includes approximately 200 national member associations and specialist groups from well over 130 countries. The FDI Annual World Dental Congress, held every year in different locations around the world, provides a unique opportunity for professionals and all other sectors related to oral healthcare to meet and learn from one another. FDI’s vision: ‘leading the world to optimal oral health’.