IFDH Holds First-Ever Global Oral Health Summit

To kick off its 35th Anniversary activities, the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) organised the IFDH 2021 Global Oral Health Summit. This event brought together, for the first time, a number of influential worldwide leaders and stakeholders in oral health, research, public policy and industry.


The theme of the Summit was, “THE FUTURE TOGETHER: Enhancing the role of the dental hygienist in oral health and total health”.

The event comprised two elements: a virtual event with 10 pre-recorded presentations of 20 minutes each; and on June 26th, a 1.5 hour live roundtable discussion. 

An influential group of presenters from across the oral health global spectrum


IFDH President Corrie Jongbloed said: “We are so happy and honoured that global leaders, as well as corporate partners, have come together to contribute to the Summit!”


The group of presenters were unanimous in agreeing on the following points:


  • We are fully aware of the burden of oral disease;
  • We view the WHO Resolution on Oral Health as a ‘game changer’ - a key moment in time;
  • We agree that implementation of the Resolution will lead to making it possible to achieve 'oral health for all by 2030';
  • We agree to contribute to the Resolution on Oral Health;
  • We agree to collaborate as an oral health team.

Prof. Nigel Pitts commented: The dental hygiene community is part of the wider health team. We are all looking at a more collaborative, cooperative,

prevention and team-based future, integrating oral health and health…that we can build better, fairer and greener and move towards a cavity free future.”



In alphabetical order, the presenters were:

Dr. Gillian Barclay (Colgate-Palmolive, Vice President, Global Public Health and Scientific Affairs – pre-recorded session only)


Dr. Julian Fisher (Charite-Universitatsmedzin Berlin, Policy Consultant)


Dr. Christopher Fox (International Association for Dental Research (IADR), Chief Executive Officer)


Ms. Corrie Jongbloed, RDH (International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH), President)


Ms. Gail Malone, RDH, BS (Dentsply Sirona, Director Global Clinical Education and KOL Managment, Preventive and Restorative)


Ms. Yvonne Nyblom, RDH (European Dental Hygienists Federation (EDHF), President)

Prof. Nigel Pitts (Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF), Global Chair)


Dr. Gerhard Seeberger (FDI World Dental Federation, President) 


MS. Ann Tracy (Colgate-Palmolive, Chief Sunstainablity Officer, Roundtable Session only)


Prof. George Tsakos (European Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe (EPfBOH), Chair)


Dr. Benoit Varenne (World Health Organization (WHO),Dental Officer - Oral Health Programme)


Moderator: MS. Wanda Fedora, RDH (International Federation of Dental Hygienitsts (IFDH), President-Elect)


Major topics

  • The World Health Assembly’s Resolution on Oral Health
  • Workforce
  • Prevention 
  • The burden of oral diseases
  • Evidence
  • Research
  • Sustainability
  • Future plans and strategies



Roundtable Video available

The full recording of the summit roundtable session will be available on the IFDH website as of September 1, 2021.


Speaker comments and conclusions in the roundtable discussion


The following are key comments made by the Summit speakers:


Julian Fisher: We need to think across systems, much more broadly - system thinking.  We need the evidence to communicate in the same way with industry, governments and communities."

Christopher Fox: "The future is created by research and innovation. Let’s not forget about the basic science research. Increase collaboration and communication between the practising community and the research community.”

Corrie Jongbloed

We’re happy with the broader picture of the Summit, to all collaborate and contribute. 

Collaboration with all other health professionals and beyond, contribute to the implementation of the WHO Oral Health Resolution. If we can achieve that, my mission is completed.”


Yvonne Nyblom

Intergrate the dental hygienist in the restorative dental process – then we will achieve a lot. Dental hygienists: work together, be engaged and involved in your dental hygienstst association and NCD network, Red Cross and communicate about dental hygiene with colleagues.”


Gail Malone

Collaboration = the key take-away message! The  

future is bright for dental hygienists; working together especially inter-professionally, working accross the spectrum of the other professions. 

We are focussing not just on oral health but also on general health. We have to look at the curricula of the education and focus on inter-professional collaboration, working together and prepare for the future working models.”

Nigel Pitts

The dental hygiene community is part of the wider health team. We are all looking at a more collaborative, cooperative, prevention and team-based future, integrating oral health and health…that we can build better, fairer and greener and move towards a cavity free future.”


Gerhard Seeberger

Let’s engage in education which is inclusive, not exclusive. Let’s engage with the 15 richest people in the world, owning half of the world’s GDI. Let us gather under one umbrella, which is respect for each and everybody participating today and especially for whom we have gathered today: people! This will lead to delivering optimal oral health for all.”


Ann Tracy


Collaboration and working together. We have great access to data today. 

There is a need for evidence in collaboration with the work we are doing. You manage what you measure. Keep the eye on metrics. It’s important to have targets that we all collectively aim for.”


George Tsakos

The future is now! We are working together, collaboration is happening. Use the momentum: we have to advocate und support the global oral health strategy. Not to just exist, implementation. Integration in the wider agenda, which will bring health promotion and reduction of inequalities in oral health. Implementation is the keyword.”


Benoit Varenne

“We extend an invitation to work together on a country level. 

Resolution on Oral Health is not a WHO Resolution, but adopted by 149 countries! 

The dream would be every country, the members of your organizations, will bring this resolution to the Minister of Health, plan a meeting. Let’s make this a reality that every person has access to oral care without financial hardship. Keep the momentum!”

The next phase of the IFDH Global Oral Health Summit will be continued during the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene (ISDH), Dubin Ireland, August 10-13, 2022 - www.isdh2022


For more information, contact:

Peter Anas, IFDH Executive Director






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