Apparently Denturism did exist in Germany prior to 1952, as did an educational curriculum. With the advent of Communism the profession dwindled and Dental Technology was promoted as a supplementary profession of Dentistry. However, some Dental Technicians were still known to make dentures directly. Since the fall of Communism, with East and West Germany united, there has been little Denturism movement. Little is known outside of Germany, about the underground movement of our German colleagues to get established.
The IFD website recalls that in 1956 three Denturists (Rolf Pfenniger, Hannes Stiebler and Stephan Grabert) came together to form the IFD. That meeting took place during late summer in Zurich, the home base of Rolf Pfenninger who was from Switzerland. Hannes Stiebler came from Vienna in Austria and Stephan Grabert from Gelsenkirchen in Germany. They shared the same conviction about the unacceptable level of denture satisfaction of denture wearers, due to the interference monopoly of the clinical go-between. They were motivated by a dream to better serve the needs of denture wearers, than through the limitations of a prescribed communication barrier with consumers; dominated by the inefficiency of a go-between system. Their vision of direct services represents hope and justice, to progress by improving service-efficiency!
Subsequently the Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft Der Zahnprothetiker (I.A.Z.) was formed. In English it was called the International Federation of Denturists (I.F.D.) and in French the Federation Internationale des Denturologistes (F.I.D.). The official designation of the movement was the IAZ/IFD/FID. Initially the European countries were quite active to establish the Association. A number of countries in Europe and Scandinavia did establish recognition for the category in the early years. However, as recognition were established throughout Canada and Australia, the USA, etc. the initiative-momentum became truly international, and at some stage a decision was taken for practical purposes to change the communication language to English and amalgamate all three designations by adopting the title of International Federation of Denturists (IFD).
The fact that Germany, who was a founder member, have re-joined the ranks of the IFD in this year of 2016 is significant, as we meet for the AGM of the IFD in Switzerland, were it was formed. This is reason to celebrate, together with our 60th birthday. We welcome Sabine Lorenz and her Association to our ranks and we see forward to meeting her and assist Germany to successfully establish a category of Denturist/Zahnprothetiker. Every new EU country that gets added to the recognised establishment, is to the benefit of Oral Health Care of patients within the EU and to the advancement of the profession globally.
By Mr. Duffy Malherbe, South Africa