Oral health and dental care in Hong Kong.

E. Schwarz, E. C. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

With a population of six million people and situated at the South-eastern corner of mainland China, Hong Kong is considered as the gateway between East and West, often playing a role disproportionate to its territorial or population size. The FDI World Dental Congress 1995 provides an impetus to familiarise colleagues worldwide with the oral health and dental care situation in Hong Kong. Water fluoridation was introduced in 1961, which has achieved a continuous low and stable caries prevalence in children as well as in adults. Edentulousness among adults is usually not apparent until after age 55, but at much lower rates than in comparable western industrialised populations. Periodontal conditions in adults are dominated by calculus and shallow pockets. Overall, treatment needs are mainly oral hygiene and simple restorative treatment. Dental awareness is considered low with only a minority of the population seeking dental care on a regular basis. Traditional Chinese health beliefs are common and may influence health behaviour in terms of self- or professional care. Dental care is mainly provided by around 1000 private dental practitioners but special government dental programmes are established for primary school children, who are mainly treated by dental therapists, and for civil servants and their dependents. Dental hygienists are trained in very limited numbers. Dental specialties are under development as part of a newly established Academy of Medicine. Developments are under way to introduce new preventive oriented programmes for pre-school and secondary school age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalInternational dental journal
Volume45
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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