Back in the UK I never gave too much thought to dentistry. I made my regular appointments and attended check-ups. However, I found that choosing a dentist in Hong Kong was a more difficult business. Everybody I asked seemed to have a view on who was the best dentist in the city and who to avoid.
Private dental practices in Hong Kong can vary very widely, from smaller outlets in Tsim Sha Tsui to larger glittering complexes in Central. In this post we look at how you can find the right dentist for you.
If you’re planning to move to Hong Kong soon, you might also find it useful to read more about becoming an Expat in our free eBook The New Expat.
The first thing I learned was that there could be a big difference between the credentials of practicing dentists. In general Hong Kong dentists are very well qualified, and the city offers some of the best standards of dental care in the world. Unfortunately, the odd charlatan does still practice, although the Hong Kong Dental Association ensures that these under-qualified individuals are few and far between. So when choosing a dentist in Hong Kong, it’s important to check that they are listed under the Hong Kong Specialist Register of Dentists. Most practitioners will advertise this fact with certification on their walls and will readily provide you with evidence if you ask.
Of course, it’s always worth getting a few recommendations from colleagues and friends if you can too.
Finding the right dentist for you
Once you’ve established these basic ‘fit-to-practice’ criteria it’s time to delve a little deeper. At first my main concern was choosing a dentist in Hong Kong who spoke good English, but I needn’t have worried. Everyone I’ve encountered in the city is fluent and Hong Kong attracts dentists from all over the world. You should easily be able to find a professional from America, Canada, Australia or the UK if you wish.
In general international dentists tend to be younger, which means they’ve been closer to studying at the forefront of dental knowledge. If you’re looking for an older more experienced dentist these number higher for local practitioners, although some internationals have settled for the longer term. Either way there are plenty of very well qualified and excellent dentists native to the city or from abroad. You should find out where they’ve studied – an internationally recognised university degree is standard – and any additional qualifications they may have.
Before choosing a dentist in Hong Kong, it’s also worth considering practical matters. First and foremost, you’ll probably want a dentist near to where you live or work.
You’ll also want to know the costs charged for treatment. As you might imagine, the costs can vary widely, but I was pleased to find that dentists of a very good standard charged comparable fees to what I paid back home with NHS subsidies. In fact, those who pay for private dental care in the UK may find that fees in Hong Kong are cheaper.
It’s also worth checking whether dental care is covered by your health insurance, as not all plans offer this.
Once they’ve got their basic dental care covered, some people may investigate Hong Kong’s reputation for low cost and high quality cosmetic dental work. Certainly there are many practices in the city that provide cosmetic treatments like straightening and whitening at very competitive prices compared to the UK or US.
As with choosing a dentist in Hong Kong, you’ll want to check out these professionals with care too and look for testimonials. But for many Hong Kong is the ideal location to invest in their smile.
How to find out more
For further Information on choosing a dentist in Hong Kong, it’s worth visiting the website of the Hong Kong Dentist Association.
Also, for more on making the move abroad, don’t forget to download our free eBook The New Expat which covers family matters, accommodation issues, financial arrangements, medical considerations and much more.