Indian Journal of Dental Research

: 2018  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-

Exciting times

Jürgen Fedderwitz 
 Chair of the Education Committee of FDI/The World Dental Federation, Geneva, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Jürgen Fedderwitz
Chair of the Education Committee of FDI/The World Dental Federation, Geneva

How to cite this article:
Fedderwitz J. Exciting times.Indian J Dent Res 2018;29:131-131

How to cite this URL:
Fedderwitz J. Exciting times. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Oct 1 ];29:131-131
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Worldwide, caries and periodontal diseases play the biggest role in the dentists' everyday life. They are also among the most prevalent diseases of mankind. Both have a negative impact on quality of life and are the main cause of tooth loss.

Caries seems to have been fully explored in the last 20 years. Successful scientific research into etiology and epidemiology has enabled high profile success in dental health care. This applies not only to industrial nations but also to newly industrial and developing countries as well. Education and prevention initiatives, fluoridation, and fissure sealing are essential elements of our effective suppression of caries.

Whereas dentistry has developed effective and efficient concepts to conquer caries, it has failed until now in the suppression of periodontal diseases. It seems we have a long way to go. For the FDI, periodontal diseases (and especially periodontitis) are a global challenge. Not only for science and dentistry but also for societies and their health-care systems.

However, within the last years, new research findings in dentistry, but also in immunology and microbiology give us reasons for hope. There are new aspects to the interaction between dentistry and medicine which will bring much more collaboration between physicians and dentists.

This will offer us the chance to master this global challenge.

At present, a very exciting topic of research is the connection between caries research and periodontology. “In the past, caries and periodontal diseases have been considered as very separate entities,” says Professor Mario Sanz, chairman of the Perio Workshop 2016 of the European Federation of Periodontology. “But recent evidence clearly points to several mechanisms and factors shared by both.”

More and more similarities on one side and, indeed, differences on the other will be identified. That refers to ecological interactions at the dental biofilm in health and disease and the role of microbial communities in the pathogenesis of periodontitis and caries.

The biofilm is an essential factor in the development of caries and periodontal diseases. Understanding the composition and the intermicrobial interactions is the key to effective preventive and therapeutic concepts.

We have to integrate the new knowledge of the microbe-host interactions in our maintenance of oral health to improve preventive strategies for a better oral health.

Varying structures in dental health care in different countries lead to different foci in care and treatment and have an impact on our achievements. The quantity of dentists in each country is also a factor in success. However, the number of dentists is unimportant. Their know-how is a fundamental factor in the good care and treatment of our patients. Continuing education (CE) is the key and is one of the main tasks of the National Dental Associations (NDA). It is one of the main tasks of the World Dental Association (FDI) to support the NDAs in developing those CE programs. The Education Committee of the FDI is responsible for this support.

As you see, a lot is cooking in dentistry, science, and research. All dentists worldwide will benefit from these findings.

These are exciting times.