Israeli dentist and professor Lior Shapira has been elected president of the European Federation of Periodontology. Shapira is from the Faculty of Dental Medicine at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem.
“I am excited about the appointment,” Shapira said. “There is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, but I am sure I will stand up to it. Right now, we are at the forefront of global dentistry and we need to take care to preserve it as such.”
The federation is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting awareness and the importance of gum health and its relationship to general health; the link between gum health and whole body health has been scientifically proven in multiple studies.
Founded 30 years ago, it represents more than 16,000 dentists, dental researchers and oral health professionals from Europe and around the world. The foundation founded Gum Health Day, which takes place each year on May 12.
Each year, the different countries recommend a candidate on their behalf for the presidency of the federation and then a vote is held, with each country having one vote.
Shapira is appointed at a challenging time, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, during which many people neglected routine care - including dental care.
He said that he will focus this year on the federation’ goal of increasing the influence of women in the clinic and in research.
“We have a new generation of professional, quality women, but their representation [in the field] is still low,” Shapira said. “It’s time to change that.”
He said that he also hopes to move the federation forward toward being a green organization that supports sustainability.