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Healthcare in Hong Kong
Dentists in Hong Kong
When you wake up with a throbbing pain in your tooth you should see a good dental practitioner. But how can you get in touch with a good dentist? In this article, we will give you advice on how to find dentists in Hong Kong and tell you how to avoid excessive costs.
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Being a dentist in Hong Kong is a well-respected profession, and there are around 1,000 registered practitioners in the city. Similar to general physicians, almost all dentists in Hong Kong speak English. Most of them have received their qualifications either from universities in Hong Kong or from a renowned university in the US, the UK, or other English-speaking countries. Therefore, you can expect a high quality of treatment by dentists in Hong Kong.
However, seeing a Hong Kong dentist in a public healthcare clinic is not possible except for emergency situations. For regular treatment, you have to contact private dentists in Hong Kong. As private treatment by a Hong Kong dentist can be quite expensive, make sure that dental care is included in your Hong Kong health insurance. Moreover, there are considerable price differences between dentists in Hong Kong, so make sure to compare prices beforehand..
Public Dental Care
As opposed to other medical services, the government does not cover the costs of dentists in Hong Kong. The lucky ones who can see a dentist for free are students and civil servants only. The Department of Health also provides a school dental service for primary schools. Furthermore, the teaching hospital for dentistry students, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, accepts a small number of patients whose medical conditions correspond to teaching needs.
However, the government does provide all residents with dental emergency service. This emergency treatment includes medication and/or extraction of your tooth if necessary. Follow-up treatments after emergencies have to be administered by private dentists in Hong Kong. The Department of Health has a list of dental clinics which are open to the public in emergency cases.
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Private Dental Care
For all regular dental treatments, you have to see a private practitioner. However, considering the high number of dentists in Hong Kong, it is not always easy to find the right one. The Hong Kong Dental Association maintains an online directory of dentists. In this directory, you cannot only find contact details and office hours of Hong Kong dentists, but also a listing of relevant qualifications and the institutions where these qualifications where obtained.
Alternatively, you can also check with the Dental Council of Hong Kong, a government agency designed to regulate the practice of dentists in Hong Kong. On their website, they provide a list of registered general dentists and specialists for particular fields. Furthermore, you can also browse the Hong Kong yellow pages or contact your home country’s diplomatic mission to see if they have some helpful advice for you.
Services and Treatment Costs
Private dentists in Hong Kong usually provide a wide range of services from scaling and filling to more complex matters such as orthodontic treatment and implants. However, the costs of seeing private dentists in Hong Kong are extremely high. Yet, there are noticeable price differences between various dentists, so it is advisable to compare before you decide which one to go to. Try to figure out the general price level for different dental services and ask locals what they usually pay. In this way, you can make sure that you are not charged excessive prices. You should calculate between HKD 300 and HKD 500 for fillings and up to HKD 500 for a general consultation.
To make sure that you will not be stuck with the bills, make sure that your health insurance package covers dental care. If you have employer-sponsored health insurance, also check if it explicitly includes a visit to dentists in Hong Kong. If it does not, it might make sense to get additional private insurance for dental care to keep the cost of living in Hong Kong at a reasonable level. Large companies sometimes have their own dental clinics where employees and their families are treated free of charge.