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A Guide to Hong Kong's Public and Private Dental Care System

By Sarah Moran 18 January 2019
Have your kids' teeth been hurting from eating too many sweets lately? Or is your wisdom tooth breaking out, causing an intense amount of pain? Perhaps you're thinking about fitting some braces? Whatever it is you're looking for, we explain how to navigate Hong Kong's dental care system to find the right help.

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The Public System 

Hong Kong has a wonderful healthcare system that provides cheap services to residents, but that sadly doesn't extend to dental services. At the moment, public dental services in Hong Kong will only cover the costs for primary school students and civil servants. However, the Government does provide 11 dental clinics which offer general public sessions that handle dental emergency services only (pain relief and extraction), including medication if necessary. Just make sure you check the operation times first and arrive early as each clinic has a maximum quota per day.

The Private System

For other regular dental treatments, you'll have to see a private practitioner. However, considering the high number of dentists available in Hong Kong, it's not always easy to find the right one. You can opt for one in your neighbourhood, ask friends for a recommendation, or take a look at the Hong Kong Dental Association's online directory of dentists to find the contact details, office hours, and a listing of relevant qualifications for each. Alternatively, the Dental Council of Hong Kong's website also provides a list of registered general dentists and specialists who work in specific fields. The cost to see a private dentist is not standardised so call ahead to find out the fee for a specific one first. 

Other Options

If you're strapped for cash, but don't qualify for the public dental system (i.e. you're not a primary school student or civil servant), Prince Philip Dental Hospital, the teaching hospital for dentistry students, accepts a small number of patients whose medical conditions correspond with particular teaching practices. Another option is the Caritas Dental Clinics, which are run by the Catholic charity organisation Caritas. These clinics offer dental services to the public for at least half the price of most private clinics, meaning you won't be stung by a hefty bill.
Read More! Discover the Best Health Assessment Packages on offer in Hong Kong, or explore our Wellness section.

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Born and raised in Hong Kong to expat parents, Sarah grew up as your typical third-culture kid, caught between two worlds. As someone who is nosy (or just curious) and loves the written word, there was never any other career that appealed to her as much as journalism. When she’s not busy on her mission to find the line between not enough coffee and too much coffee, you can find her exploring the city or getting stuck in a good book.

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