Canadian Dentist to Lead Global Dental Policy Organization

Dr. Burton Conrod
Dr. Burton Conrod

August 26, 2005 — Montreal — Today, for the first time ever, a Canadian dentist, Dr. Burton Conrod of Sydney, Nova Scotia, has been elected to lead the Fédération Dentaire Internationale (FDI) World Dental Federation.

Headquartered in France, with over 150 national and international member associations and nearly one million dentist members worldwide, the FDI is the pre-eminent voice on international dental policy.

"FDI works closely with global groups such as the World Medical Association and the World Health Organization," explained Dr. Conrod. "Health care issues are notorious for not respecting boundaries, so an international presence is an absolute must for dentistry as well as medicine. Our mission is to improve oral health for people around the world through education, policy development, advocacy and health promotion."

Elected to the position of president-elect, Dr. Conrod will begin a two-year term as FDI president in 2007, following Dr. Michèle Aerden of Belgium.

"Although Dr. Conrod will be FDI's first Canadian president, the Canadian Dental Association has a long history of involvement in FDI's development," stated CDA president Dr. Jack Cottrell. "It's gratifying to see one of our own taking on this important role."

In 1991, CDA hosted an international group of experts to help shape FDI's mission statement, and has contributed significant expertise to the development of FDI's several dozen policy statements on issues ranging from access to dental care to fluoride and dental caries.

"In Canada, we are fortunate to have achieved so much in the advancement of oral health and the recognition of its integral role in overall well-being," said Dr. Conrod. "It's an honour to be able to bring some of that knowledge to the world dental stage, while also having the opportunity to study new ideas from other countries."

The election took place during the General Assembly of the FDI, which was held in conjunction with the FDI World Dental Congress in Montreal from August 24-27. This coveted international congress changes locations annually. It is expected to be the largest congress held in Montreal this year, with more than 15, 000 delegates in attendance. The congress will generate more than 6 million dollars for the local economy. The last Canadian FDI meeting was held in Vancouver in 1994.

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) is the national voice for dentistry, dedicated to the advancement and leadership of a unified profession and to the promotion of optimal oral health, an essential component of general health.