Dear colleagues, dearest friends,
The year ahead is full of exciting challenges and opportunities for periodontology and for the EFP. If I would attempt to define the federation with three words, I would most probably do so by saying: global, young, and wise.
Firstly, I would like to highlight the worldwide success of the federation, which has become the global benchmark in periodontology and implant dentistry. Indeed, the attendance at our EuroPerio and Perio Master Clinic events is remarkably global (with well over a hundred nationalities represented at EuroPerio9 in Amsterdam in June 2018 and more than 40 at Perio Master Clinic 2019 in Hong Kong in February this year). The reach of the new classification of periodontal diseases, Perio Workshop, and our Gum Health Day – which is about to be celebrated across the world, not just in Europe – is global too, and so are our social-media followers and the scientific organisations with which we partner.
That is why we are developing an ambitious strategy of internationalisation: six national perio societies from Latin America, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region have just joined our 31 Europe-based societies. Other societies will apply to become international members in the near future. So, while we are still proudly European, we are now not only European – we are becoming global and we are proud of it.
Our language is also changing, as our tone of voice needs to embrace all generations of dentists that are turning their heads towards us. My attention, in particular, is devoted to the younger members of the periodontal community. Let us not forget the success of EuroPerio9, an unmissable event in global dentistry, with most participants aged 40 and under. Since joining the EFP’s executive committee three years ago, I have led initiatives such as the launch of the EFP app, the social-media task force, and EFP Alumni that have helped us to reach out to our younger colleagues. And creating structures for the future is, I believe, essential if we are to transmit the vision of the federation.
The EFP will reach the age of 30 in 2021: we are young, yet now wise and mature. I am proud to be the first EFP-accredited specialist who has become EFP president, an anecdote that captures well how quickly and successfully the EFP has evolved. Indeed, we are now witnessing a fascinating time when periodontology and oral health are receiving growing attention from the medical world and the public at large. As a result of the work that we do every day, there has indeed been a shift in the social perception of periodontitis. Policymakers, journalists, and health institutions have started to embrace the message that the mouth is not just about teeth and that gum diseases may harm our overall health and quality of life.
In this regard, the EFP is fostering research and exchange with related medical disciplines through Perio Workshop and outreach campaigns launched with our partners (such as Oral Health & Pregnancy, Perio & Caries, Perio & Diabetes, and the forthcoming Perio & Cardio).
This is just a brief part of the story of the success of the EFP. I must conclude by acknowledging our affiliated societies – the very essence of the EFP – and the numerous colleagues who have passionately served the EFP and our national societies in recent years. These societies and the 16,000 colleagues who belong to them have shown continuous dedication and willingness to join together and work beyond their national borders, which is shaping our status as the reference point in periodontology. We could not have become the EFP without them.
President of the EFP