History of the ADF

The ADF: a driving force behind the development of the dental profession

The history of the ADF is intertwined with the development of the dental profession and the emergence of its specific identity. Up until the Sixties, dentistry was not, in France, considered a discipline in its own right. It was simply one particular specialisation of medicine, particularly with regard to qualifying degrees. A new approach to dentistry has since emerged through the efforts of professional associations to underline the unity and specificity of the dental profession.
The creation of the French Dental Association was at the very heart of this movement, and the ADF has played a key role in subsequent developments ever since.

At the general assembly of the dental profession, 800 representatives from various professional organisations draw up a charter stating the claims and rights of the dental profession. The ADF is created as a direct consequence of this founding statement.
In Paris, 21 national professional associations sign the French Dental Association charter – the ADF is officially established.
Independent dental faculties are created the same year

Creation of a qualifying diploma in dentistry, the first in a series of university degrees.
Amendment to the Public Health Code, recognising the specificity of the dental profession.

First ADF Dental Meeting.

A  Dentofacial Orthopaedics speciality is created.

The World Dental Congress is held in Paris.
Dental surgeries start turning to computerisation.

First ever communication campaign to promote the image of the dental profession.

The ADF becomes the government approved certifying authority for dental products, instruments and equipment.

Implementation of table salt fluoridation.
The use of sugar substitutes in food products is authorised.

Creation of a national university degree in oral surgery.
Creation of the CNFPO (Comité National de la Formation Permanente Odontologique), the national committee for continuing professional education in dentistry.

Creation of a hospital internship in dental surgery.
Dental studies curricular reform, with a new six-year course leading to a post-graduate qualifying diploma.

Creation of the COME (Centre Odontologique de Médicométrie et d'Évaluations), the scientific organisation in charge of evaluating dental practices and their effectiveness.

The ADF initiates a quality approach project for the entire dental profession. Publication of the ICSII survey on dental healthcare in France conducted in the framework of the World Health Organisation international research programme.

The ADF publishes a set of 72 recommendations on hygiene and asepsis in the dental surgery.

The ADF launches its own website, providing the dental profession with a regularly updated communication and exchange tool.

The ADF seminar on good dental practice leads to the identification of the main issues to be addressed in the quality approach programme: the quality of oral care and oral health, quality control, the implementation of quality control, and its cost.

Creation of the IFRO (Institut Français pour la Recherche Odontologique), the organisation in charge of promoting and supporting dental research in France.

The ADF, the Conseil National de l'Ordre des Chirurgiens Dentistes (the regulatory body for dentistry in France) and the Committee of Deans of the French dental faculties sign an agreement setting the framework for continuing professional education in dentistry.
The ADF and the FDI World Dental Federation jointly organise the 2000 World Dental Congress in Paris.

The ADF publishes six recommendations for dental practice, and designs a self-assessment tool (brochure, CD Rom, website).
The ADF Annual Meeting website www.adfcongres.com is launched.
Creation of the CNFCO (Conseil National de la Formation Continue Odontologique), whose mission is to organise and regulate continuing professional education in dentistry.

The ADF and the HAS (Haute Autorité de Santé or French National Authority for Health) sign a cooperation agreement, aimed at promoting  the quality of dental care. .

New rules for the validation of training credits are implemented by the CNFCO.


“Rire, manger, aimer…” (laugh, eat, love …) the ADF and the Conseil National de l’Ordre des Chirurgiens-dentistes launch the first institutional campaign designed to enhance the image of dentists among the general public, the media and decision-makers.
The ADF broadcasts the first JT de l’ADF (a one hour-long internet TV programme on dental news and topics).

The ADF and the HAS sign an agreement aimed at promoting good practices in dentistry.

Creation of a College of Good Practices in dentistry.

Survey about sustainable development in French dentistry.