In-depth look at oral health and healthy ageing during 2018 World Oral Health Forum

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In-depth look at oral health and healthy ageing during 2018 World Oral Health Forum

Dr Sophie Dartevelle (left) and Prof. Kakuhiro Fukai shared their approach to elderly oral healthcare in France and Japan. (Photograph: FDI World Dental Federation)
FDI World Dental Federation

By FDI World Dental Federation

Thu. 30. August 2018


Each year, the FDI World Dental Congress features the World Oral Health Forum (WOHF), an in-depth session meant to spark discussion on the latest topics related to oral health and dentistry. This year’s WOHF will highlight the important link between oral health and healthy ageing. FDI interviewed two WOHF speakers in the lead-up to this event. Dr Sophie Dartevelle, President of the French Union for Oral Health, and Professor Kakuhiro Fukai, Director of the Fukai Institute of Health Science, share perspectives on oral health and health ageing from their individual country contexts. Japan and France each have their own approach to elderly oral healthcare.

How has the approach to oral care for the elderly evolved in your country throughout your professional careers?
Fukai: In Japan, we have transitioned from approaching this issue purely as an internal matter within the field of dentistry to a broader effort involving collaboration between the medical field and the dental field toward the prevention and control of oral disease. The rapidly accumulating evidence of the link between oral health and general health has contributed to changes in our national health policy. In Japan, oral health is now seen as integral to general health, so oral health policy has been integrated into general health policy more and more.

Japan has also been one of the first countries to be confronted with the challenges of a “super-ageing” society and a decreasing population. Japan is currently engaged in an intensive process of making its healthcare system even more efficient, economical and prevention-oriented, with an eye to creating an ageing-friendly society. To achieve this, we are also trying to forge a much higher level of communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals.

Dartevelle: In France, support for oral health, and especially oral hygiene, is gradually improving, but is still not adequately considered within broader healthcare protocols owing to a lack of information and resources. Oral health remains a low priority, even though the implementation of preventative and maintenance protocols has an obvious impact on the reduction and severity of oral care needs and, therefore, on the general health and well-being of the elderly. Action remains critical. Life expectancy is increasing, and older people are not ageing in the same way today as they were 30 years ago.

The WOHF will be held on 5 September during the FDI World Dental Congress.

Session details:
Lago Nahuel Huapi room

Buenos Aires Event FDI FDI World Dental Congress Kathryn Kell

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