About NOF

Brief history of NOF


Nordisk Odontologisk Förening, (NOF) –  Scandinavian Association for Dental Research

Nordisk Odontologisk Förening, (NOF) is the Scandinavian Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). However, NOF is older than the mother organization. The upcoming joint-meeting with the Continental European Division (CED) in Vienna in 2017 is the 100th anniversary of NOF, while the 2017 annual meeting of IADR in San Francisco was the 95th meeting of the organization.

NOF was founded in January 1917 in Gothenburg (Sweden), by a group of Scandinavian dentists, to complement the Scandinavian Dentists’ Association. NOF was originally also referred to in English as the Nordic Association of Odontology. The first annual meeting was held the same year 1917, in August in Stockholm, Sweden. The president was Swedish Uno Hylin, who also presided over the second meeting in Oslo, Norway, in 1918. The objectives of NOF were, and still are, to promote the advancement of dental science and teaching of dentistry.  In March 1969 NOF joined the IADR and became recognized as the Scandinavian Division of IADR with its own sections in each of the Nordic countries, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Several Scandinavian colleagues have served as president of IADR (Table). The latest Scandinavian president was Professor Jukka Meurman (2016-2017) from the University of Helsinki.  His inaugural address was presented at the annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea, and was focused on the ever important topic of ethics in research.

Table: Scandinavian presidents of the IADR

President Country Years served as IADR president
Reidar Sognnaes Norway (moved to USA in 1938) 1957-58
Mogens Skougaard Denmark 1973-74
Finn Brudevold Norway (moved to USA in 1941) 1978-79
Harald Löe Norway (moved to USA in 1974) 1979-80
Marie Nylén Denmark (moved to USA in 1955) 1981-82
Ivar Mjör Norway 1986-87
Per-Olof Glantz Sweden 1997-98
Jukka Meurman Finland 2016-17


In 1989 also the Icelandic section joined the NOF. At that time the organization functioned as a federation of independent national sections, each section being responsible in one-year rotation cycles for the administration of the association. This functioned well as long as NOF was a small group of researchers. When the organization grew, however, soon having some 700 members in the late 1980s, the need for continuity in the leadership became evident and updating the constitution was started.

In 1995 the General Assembly of the association unanimously approved the new Constitution, according to which the officers, namely, national Board Members, Treasurer and Secretary General served for periods of five years. The President was usually elected from Board Members of the country where the next meeting was being organized.

NOF meetings were characterized by an informal atmosphere. Scientific communications covered all areas of dental research, offering an excellent opportunity for researchers in the Nordic countries to meet. The inter-disciplinary nature of the meetings allowed interaction between different areas of research, not easily achieved in meetings devoted to one field only. Presentations by young research students have always been particularly encouraged at NOF meetings and several awards and prizes have been allocated for them throughout the years.

However, during the late 1990s, membership numbers of the association started to decline. This was partly because of the great number of competitive international meetings and partly because of the closing of several dental schools in Scandinavia. Also members´ interest in attending specialist meetings seemed to undermine their interest in coming to the NOF meetings, keeping in mind the tight travel budgets of Nordic universities with limited possibilities for awarding travel stipends. This led to a situation where it was no longer sensible to organize meetings for NOF members only. The last sole NOF meeting was held in Copenhagen in 2001. After that NOF focused on joint meetings especially together with the CED but also with the British and Irish divisions of the IADR. From this cooperation the Pan European Federation (PEF) emerged including NOF, the CED, British and Irish divisions. The first meeting of PEF was held in Cardiff in 2002.  Later PEF evolved becoming the Pan European Region (PER) of the IADR. PER is now one of the five IADR Regions and formally legislated under Belgian law. PER meetings have been organized every second or third year gathering 700 -1000 participants.

In the beginning of 2000 our Baltic colleagues joined the NOF. Estonia was the first country to join in 2002 and then came Latvia in 2012 and Lithuania in 2015. In 2016, NOF had 250 members and is a flourishing and active organization. The concept of joint meetings with the other IADR Divisions in Europe seems to work very well.

The Journal

NOF´s own scientific journal is even older than NOF. It all began in 1885 with an unpresumptuous journal called “Skandinavisk Tidsskrift for Tandlaeger” (Scandinavian journal for dentists, in Danish). However, the journal survived for only two years and was followed by another periodical called “Skandinavisk Tidskrift för tandläkare” now published in Sweden. The survival of this journal was also short, only three years. Then came the “Odontologisk Tidskrift” (Journal of odontology). In an editorial the editor, E. Sjöberg, wrote that he felt it a challenge to fill the gap with a new journal with the aim of publishing original papers by Scandinavian authors. “Odontologisk Tidskrift” was published from 1893 to 1969.

In 1970, the editorship and the publisher moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. The journal received a facelift, and was renamed “Scandinavian Journal of Dental Research”. It was announced that in future issues all papers would be published in English, thus creating an international forum for Nordic dental research.

In 1993 the 100th anniversary of the journal was celebrated with Jens J Pindborg as the editor. He wrote in the special centennial issue: “this issue illustrates very well the vast progress of dental research in recent years. The last couple of decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the scope of dentistry. Dentistry is moving towards a comprehensive concept of oral health and is becoming an integrated part of medicine”. Today, 25 years later, we can see that this prediction has indeed come true.

In 1995 Anders Linde took over as the editor and the name of the journal was once more changed, now becoming the “European Journal of Oral Sciences”. This title reflected better the scientifically more comprehensive international character of the journal. During the leadership of A. Linde the change from paper manuscripts to online handling also took place. Today the journal is a renowned multidisciplinary journal devoted to all scientific disciplines relating to dentistry and oral health. Since 2016 Vibeke Baelum has been the Editor.

To finish off, we wish NOF, all the best for the next hundred years with many active members, and a flourishing scientific future in the best Nordic atmosphere and traditions.

 Yrsa Le Bell, former president of NOF

Jukka Meurman, former president of NOF and IADR

May 31, 2017



European Journal of Oral Sciences

European Journal of Oral Sciences is the official publication of NOF – Scandinavian Division of the International Association for Dental Research.

Read more about European Journal of Oral Sciences »


Board members


Ilze Akota

Board member of Latvia

President, Counsilor

Vytaute Peciuliene

Board Member of Lithuania


Ulvi Gürsoy

Secretary general, Counsilor

Eija Könönen

Board member of Finland

Immediate Past President

Anne Marie Lynge Pedersen

Board Member of Denmark

Mare Saag

Board Member of Estonia

Peter Holbrook

Board Member of Iceland

Gunhild Strand

Board Member of Norway

Peter Lingström

Board Member of Sweden

Carolina (Nina) Sabel


Vibeke Baelum