Dear fellow perio professional,
In the last few years, the EFP has dramatically raised its profile and improved its position as the global benchmark in periodontology. Following the outstanding job of previous presidents – notably my immediate predecessors Søren Jepsen and Juan Blanco – today the EFP is successfully increasing the visibility of gum health, raising awareness of its impact on general health and public health, joining forces with other international dental organisations, boosting communications both with external stakeholders and with member societies, and promoting research, education, and the dissemination of periodontal knowledge as never before.
As president of the EFP, I feel extremely honoured and proud to head an organisation which is leading the discussion about periodontal science and practice at a worldwide level. Thanks to the EuroPerio congress, the Perio Master Clinic, the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the Perio Workshop, the European Gum Health Day, our array of publications, the EFP-accredited postgraduate periodontology programme, the EFP Manifesto, and to the extraordinary contribution of our 30 national affiliated societies, the EFP is no longer just a European perio organisation. We are the leading global voice for periodontists, researchers, and other oral-care professionals specialising in periodontology.
By fulfilling this role properly, we are bringing value not only to the dental community but also to the public, and to policymakers and authorities. I am sincerely convinced that the EFP can – and must – put gum health at the service of people, thus making their lives better, as the EFP motto (“Periodontal health for a better life”) says.
The EFP is relevant because periodontology matters, so the more we achieve in putting gum health high on the international health agenda, the better we serve the interests of our around 14,000 individual members, their dental practices, their patients, their universities, and their students.
In my mind, our three main challenges today at the EFP are:
- To reinforce the EFP’s leading international role. By working with our sister perio organisations in the United States, in Latin America, in Asia, and elsewhere. By partnering with other health organisations, with researchers, with industry. By improving our exchange of expertise within the EFP. By fostering the dissemination of knowledge over the internet, through printed publications, and via social media.
- To convey a clear, powerful message to all dental practitioners, health professionals, and authorities: gum health is a cost-effective way to prevent, detect, and control systemic diseases in individuals. It saves a lot of public money in health expenditure for governments and it improves quality of life. Investing in gum health is affordable and offers a great return in health, financial, and social terms.
- To better serve our member societies implies helping them at the national level to offer value to their individual members, to raise awareness of gum disease, and to disseminate valuable scientific knowledge among oral-healthcare professionals and patients. The stronger our national societies are, the stronger the EFP becomes. The EFP is, after all, a federation – so good news for our affiliated societies is good news for all of us.
We have on which to build our future and some fascinating challenges ahead. I am lucky to count on the vision of our secretary general Iain Chapple, on the experience of our EFP committees, on the support of our staff. The EFP together with its 30 member societies can make periodontology better known, better understood, and better appreciated. It is an effort which is reasonable and worthwhile. I will be delighted to go with you on this journey.