Oral health

Global goals for oral health 2020

International Dental Journal (2003) 53, 285-288
Martin Hobdell (Leader of FDI Joint Working Group, Houston, USA,)
Poul Erik Petersen (World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland)
John Clarkson (International Association for Dental Research, Alexandria, USA)
Newell Johnson (FDI Science Commission, Ferney-Voltaire, France)

How to use this document

It is anticipated that dentists and other health planners in many circumstances will use this document for guidance when developing their plans for oral health. We recognise that no document can provide exact blue print for each and every set of circumstances where oral health plans are to be developed. What is resented here is a range of possible areas that need to be taken into consideration when plans are being developed. It also provided a useful checklist against which existing plans might be examined to determine if there are possible gaps. Fundamental to the success of any plan is a clear understanding of what resources are already available or might become available once the plan has been adopted officially. Initially it may not be necessary to have a detailed inventory of all resources available a simple analysis like the completion of the questionnaire in Annexure B will give a quick guide as to the level of resources available to you. This, combined with a prioritised list of the oral health problems of the community or population you are planning for, will help you identify types of interventions that are likely to be most appropriate and sustainable under the prevailing circumstances.


The FDI and the WHO established the first Global Oral Health Goals jointly in 1981 to by achieved by year 2000. A review of this goals, carried out just prior to the end of this period, established that they had been useful and, for many populations, had been achieved or exceeded. However, for a significant proportion of the world's population, they remote only a remote aspiration. Nonetheless, the Oral Health Goals had stimulated awareness of the importance of oral health in general. Therefore, even though not all countries had achieved the goals, they provided a key focus for the effort.

Recently, the FDI, WHO and IADR have embarked on the activity of preparing goals the new millennium, for year 2020, and these are presented here. They were developed by a Working Group including representatives of the FDI, WHO and IADR from different regions (see Annexure A for the Group's membership).

The drafts of this document were circulated to all National Dental Association members (NDAs) and the FDI and placed on the global Dental Public Health list server for comment. All WHO Collaborating Centres in Oral Health (WHOCC) and the IADR were also consulted. Responses received from NDAs, IADRs WHOCC as well as from individuals have been subsequently incorporated in this document.