Dental Tribune International

Periodontics a step closer to gaining EU-wide recognition

By Dental Tribune International
November 14, 2019

MADRID, Spain: For several years now, the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) has been campaigning for the practice of periodontics to be given EU-wide recognition as a specialty. At a recent meeting on professional qualifications and freedom of movement, an EU group of co-ordinators (GoCs) discussed the topic, and the EFP noted that it believes it now has a strong chance of finally achieving its goal.

EU-wide recognition allows practitioners of particular professions to move around the EU without restriction. With that mobility, the EFP noted that periodontists would have more opportunities to exchange knowledge and develop, adding that it predicts it will also increase graduate applications, aid training and increase access for patients.

At the meeting, which included representatives of each of the EU member states and countries in the European Free Trade Association, an agenda for proposed developments in EU-wide arrangements for professional qualifications and related provisions for freedom of movement was discussed. In order for a profession to be given recognition, individual countries need to confirm the status of the profession in their respective countries as well as put forward a case based on economics and, like in the case of the EFP, health benefits before a proposal is put to the European Parliament and then to the European Council. Once all this has been done, a decision can be made on a case-by-case basis.

Speaking about the possibility of periodontics being recognised, Prof. Nairn Wilson, who has been leading the EFP’s work on specialty recognition, said: “I believe a strong case for EU-wide specialty recognition has been made to the GoCs.”

Currently, periodontics is recognised as a specialty in 12 of the 28 members of the EU. However, in several countries, the EFP reported that there has been some resistance from dental associations who are worried that the recognition of more dental specialties may limit the scope of practice for general dental practitioners. In response to the resistance, Wilson noted that “no dental association in countries which do recognise and regulate perio and other distinct branches of dentistry wish to have the awards of specialty status reversed. Specialty status is descriptive, not restrictive.”

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