Our purpose

About FDI

FDI World Dental Federation (FDI) serves as the principal representative body for more than one million dentists worldwide and has a bold vison to lead the world to optimal oral health. FDI is one of the oldest organizations in the field of dentistry and its membership comprises some 200 national dental associations and specialist groups in over 130 countries.

FDI leads global advocacy efforts to increase oral health literacy and achieve political commitment and action on oral health in all countries. The organization pushes for oral diseases, which threaten  human health and well-being, to be recognized and addressed as serious global health concerns.

FDI fosters best practices in oral health science and education by sharing knowledge in preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment, and builds capacity through its own continuing education (CE) programmes, projects, awareness campaigns and policy statements. FDI also organizes congresses and publishes the International Dental Journal (IDJ) to advance the art, science and practice of dentistry. 

FDI is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It works with United Nations (UN) agencies such as the World Health Organization, with whom it is in official relations, as well as other non-governmental organizations, international partners, governments, and corporate partners to improve the oral health of all people.

Our Mission

Vision, mission and values

Vision: Leading the world to optimal oral health.

Mission: FDI is the global voice of the dental profession and works with its member organizations to improve the oral health of people worldwide.

Core values: FDI and its members share core values which are strong drivers for its continuing success.

Our Values

Commitment to members: as a federation of national dental associations and other specialist groups, FDI commits to ensuring our members’ interests are represented at the global level to help support their efforts at a national level. We do this through active involvement in the worldwide community of dentists, engagement with UN agencies, governments and other international partners to improve oral health by acting as a catalyst for positive change.

Integrity: FDI’s integrity is reflected in its respect for moral values, commitments, due diligence and constancy of its methods. As the authentic voice of dentistry, our work is pertinent, apt and driven by the greater good of dentists and the public at large. 

Culture of inclusiveness: FDI values inclusiveness and cultural diversity as a means of enhancing its interactions with the wider community and as a driving force behind achieving our mission as an international organization serving the needs of a worldwide membership. 

Ethical behaviour: FDI adheres to the highest moral principles and an ethical code of behaviour according to which we respect the rights, dignity and equality of each individual, act with fairness and reject all forms of discrimination and injustice. We emphasize that the International Principles of Ethics for the Dental Profession should be considered as guidelines for every dentist.

 Excellence: FDI places excellence at the core of its efforts to achieve and sustain outstanding levels of performance and achieve worthy goals for society and the community of dentists worldwide, promote oral health for current and future generations and carry out oral health advocacy. 


FDI was founded in the year 1900, when dentistry was a strikingly different profession. Back then, there were the village blacksmiths and barbers, who doubled as back-street dentists. There were the ‘market surgeons’ who treated teeth in public, mostly by extraction.

But alongside them, there were also the reputable, highly skilled men like Dr Charles Godon, with medical and dental degrees, who wanted a clear identity for their profession.

So, on the morning of 15 August 1900, in a room in Paris, Dr Godon brought together five like-minded dentists to found Fédération Dentaire Internationale, now FDI World Dental Federation (FDI). Its objective: to organize regular dental congresses to advance the science and art of dentistry and focus discussion on issues such as dental education, oral hygiene, and public dental health.

The ambition was to harness the collective expertise and knowledge of formally trained dentists – across borders – to achieve better oral health for all, which remains a firm commitment of FDI today.

Source: Celebrating a double milestone in 2020: FDI turns 120 and the International Dental Journal is 70