The Sri Lanka Dental Association
The Sri Lanka Dental Association is the national and the parent body of the dental profession in Sri Lanka. Since its formulation on 06th December, 1932, the SLDA has been contributing immensely to the development of the profession as well as the welfare of the public of Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lanka Dental Association is the pioneering body of Dental Surgeons in Sri Lanka. Established in 1932 by a group of enterprising dentists as the Ceylon Dental Association, the SLDA has evolved into a very dynamic and thoroughly professional outfit. With a membership of close to 1900 dentists, it is the largest body of dental surgeons to date. The role of the Sri Lanka Dental Association is to empower the Sri Lankan Dental Surgeons to be on par with the global trends in dentistry and other oral health-related sciences.
The association is a member of many global federations of oral health-related bodies, namely the World Dental Federation (FDI), the Asia Pacific Dental Federation (APDF), and the Commonwealth Dental Association (CDA) to name a few. Through these alliances, the SLDA integrates to provide policy guidelines and impetus for the global oral disease burden while being the focal point for local policy-related matters.
We interact with the stakeholders in oral health in the country, namely the Ministry of Health and its committees, Faculty of Dental Sciences, and all other professional associations related to oral sciences in providing professional development to the dental fraternity, advice, and educational activities to the general public and advocacy.
During the current SARS-COVID 19 pandemic, the association has strived to develop guidelines to practice dentistry within the new normal, pro-actively deliver professional development to our membership through many online activities and importantly develop a National Oral Health Action Committee involving all stakeholders to be consistent on policy and advocacy.
We have also embarked on a project to digitalize the Sri Lanka Dental Journal the only peer-reviewed journal related to oral health in the country and make it an internationally accepted and indexed journal that provides value to its authors, editors, and readers. We are indeed happy, that with the relaunch of the website part of this task has been achieved by digitalizing all archival dental journals in our digital repository. The generous support of the CDA should be acknowledged in making this task a success.
We have also a global reach in playing host to three APDC conferences and a CDA conference in the years 1997 2007, 2013, and 2021. The efforts of all organizers of these events have been a roaring success. Our organizational capability has been phenomenal with many of our members being actively involved in these endeavors and some of our members being elected to many international bodies.
As the 89th year president, it is my pleasure to provide leadership to such a dynamic and amiable body of professionals in driving the SLDA to greater heights during the tenure of office. With the recommencement of many routine activities after a lapse of about 2 years due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we are optimistic that the SLDA could be the trendsetter in oral health policy, professionalism, and patient care in Sri Lanka.
Prof. Manil Fonseka
Sri Lanka Dental Association