A letter of welcome from Juan Blanco: you are the EFP
Dear fellow perio professional,
In recent times, the EFP has made some great strides forward. The federation has dramatically improved its communication and has started raising policymaker and public awareness about gum health and gum disease. It has also paved the way for working together with other relevant health organisations and has made significant advances in leading the scientific discussion about periodontal science and practice at a global level.
EuroPerio, the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the European Workshop in Periodontology, the Perio Master Clinic, the EFP Manifesto… The EFP is the global benchmark in our field.
I am extraordinarily lucky to assume my responsibilities as president of the EFP after my predecessors – including Michèle Reners, Phoebus Madianos, and Søren Jepsen – have performed so brilliantly. They and other colleagues rightly understood that the EFP needs to serve not only the interests of periodontists and other members of the perio community but also the wider interest of the public. We do this by boosting the EFP brand and its core messages, by developing the role of the EFP and its committees, and by engaging with potential allies. We do this also by becoming more professional (with a small and highly qualified team and wise strategic guidance) and by strengthening our efforts education, both in the EFP-accredited programmes in periodontology and in implant dentistry.
Putting gum health and gum disease high on the agenda in discussions about health at national, European, and global levels will help put perio where it deserves to be in terms of official recognition as a speciality in certain countries. It will also increase awareness among politicians, journalists, patients, and fellow health professionals everywhere. And the most important is this: by doing so, the EFP will be fulfilling its responsibility of disseminating valuable perio knowledge and contributing to the improvement of oral health, general health, and public health in Europe and around the world. We will truly be making the lives of people better.
Communication with institutions, universities, the media, and medical organisations is very important. We need to pay careful attention to this because it is the tool through which we induce a real behaviour change in terms of gum hygiene and the perception of the role of the periodontist and the perio team. Our public-affairs programme will enable us to engage with allies who can help convey our message to a broader audience and thereby make our success greater in the long term.
But communication is not only external. We also need to look inwards and make our internal communication even better. To support the accredited centres that teach the postgraduate programme and to encourage scientific co-operation among our national societies is not enough. I would like to boost co-ordination among the EFP committees and help make clearer how the federation can help the EFP-affiliated national societies – and I mean all of them, including those with less resources. I think that there is still room for improvement in how our societies take advantage of the resources the EFP produces and puts at their disposal.
Together we are stronger. By acting together, exchanging resources and tools, and learning from each other, we will once and for all succeed in changing attitudes towards periodontology. We can – and will – do it.
And “we” means more than just the practitioners of periodontology. I see the perio community as consisting of general dentists, hygienists, dental surgeons, dental students, cardiologists, diabetologists, researchers, and other health professionals. If your profile fits one of these categories, you are a member of the perio team. You are perio. And perio is you.
Welcome to the EFP.
President of the European Federation of Periodontology