ADIA is the peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of dental products. Our vision is for an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians...................... — ADIA Strategic Plan


New universally applicable definition of ‘oral health’

New universally applicable definition of ‘oral health’

6th Sep 16

Summary —

The FDI World Dental Federation launched a new definition of "oral health" that  emphasises that oral health does not occur in isolation, but is embedded in the wider framework of overall health.

Key Issues For Consideration —

The FDI World Dental Federation has launched the new definition of ‘oral health’ – positioning it as an integral part of general health and well-being.  It is regarded as an an important milestone for the oral health profession.  The announcement was made at the FDI World Dental Federation congress in Poland on 6 September 2016.

Consistent with the advocacy strategy for the FDI World Dental Federation, the new definition will allow stakeholders to develop standardised assessment and measurement tools for consistent data collection on a global level.”

As defined by FDI World Dental Federation, oral health:

Is multi-faceted and includes, but is not limited to, the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and free from pain or discomfort, and disease of the craniofacial complex.

Further attributes related to the definition state that oral health recognises that it is a fundamental component of health and physical and mental wellbeing, which exists along a continuum influenced by the values and attitudes of individuals and communities.  Furthermore, oral heal reflects the physiological, social and psychological attributes that are essential to the quality of life.  Finally, there is recognition that oral health is influenced by the individual’s changing experience, perceptions, expectations and ability to adapt to circumstances.

The new definition was coined by FDI World Dental Federation members which includes experts in oral health, public health and health economics. Together with a companion framework tested against external stakeholders, the new oral health definition is the result of a wider consultation which included patients, oral health professionals, national dental associations, the public health community, academia, government, industry and third-party payers.

With this new definition, the FDI World Dental Federation wants to raise awareness of the different dimensions of oral health and emphasise that oral health does not occur in isolation, but is embedded in the wider framework of overall health.  This contemporary definition of oral health resonates with that used by many national dental associations the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Member engagement —

As an organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of dental products, ADIA does not involve itself directly with policy advocacy associated with the provision of dental and oral healthcare; however, recognising that such policy greatly affects matters associated with the supply of dental products ADIA monitors developments in this area and updates member businesses of the same.

Currency of Information —

This update was issued on 6 September 2016 and please note that changes in circumstances after the publication of material or information may impact upon its accuracy and also change regulatory compliance obligations.

Disclaimer —

The statements, regulatory and technical information contained herein are believed to be accurate and are provided for information purposes only. Readers are responsible for assessing its relevance and verifying the accuracy of the content. To the fullest extent permitted by law, ADIA will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred in relation to or arising as a result of relying on the information presented here. 

This publication is available for your use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, with the exception of the ADIA logo, other images and where otherwise stated. 

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