Facts about Orthodontics

How can I find an orthodontist?

Finding an orthodontist is quite easy. Most of the full members of the Hong Kong Society of Orthodontists Limited are specialists in Orthodontics who are uniquely qualified to correct "bad bites" and they have met the exacting standards of education and experience set by the Dental Council of Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, you can find and contact any orthodontists yourself, or your dentist can also help with a recommendation.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Other than poor aesthetics, crowded teeth are difficult to clean and maintain. This may contribute to conditions leading to tooth decay and also gum disease. Children with protruding teeth would have a higher incidence of traumatizing their front teeth during or fall/accident. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of teeth, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and supporting bone or mal-alignment of the jaw joints. A person's self-esteem often improves as treatment brings teeth, lips and face into proportion. In this way, orthodontic treatment can benefit social and career success, as well as improve one's general attitude towards life.

What is an orthodontist or a Specialist in Orthodontics?

An orthodontist or specialist in orthodontics has received specialist training for orthodontics for at least six years. It comprises two parts, basic and higher training respectively. The basic training (in total four years) comprises of one year of general practice and active participation in continuous education, followed by a three-year full-time postgraduate training at the University leading to a Master in Orthodontics. The two years of higher training can either consist of two years part-time studies at the University leading to an Advanced Diploma of Orthodontics (in combination with supervised training in private practice), or two years supervised full-time training in an approved institution (Government Dental Service / University).

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental, skeletal and facial irregularities. The practice of Orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances, such as braces, to bring teeth, jaws and lips into proper alignment and to achieve facial balance.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a Specialist in Orthodontics?

An orthodontist and a Specialist in Orthodontics are synonymous. However, according to the regulation issued by the Hong Kong Dental Council, the professional title of "Orthodontist" has been changed to "Specialist in Orthodontics" with effect from January 1, 2004.

What is the Hong Kong Society of Orthodontists Limited (HKSO)?

The HKSO, founded in 1981, is the official organization of orthodontic specialists practicing in Hong Kong. To date, the HKSO has 75 members, including 10 international members from outside Hong Kong. The HKSO is dedicated to ensure the continual improvement of clinical orthodontic care provided by the society's members, to provide the public with easy access to dental health information related to Orthodontics and to liaise and cooperate with other official dental organizations towards the goals of promoting quality orthodontic care for the general public.

What makes an orthodontist different from a dentist?

All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 3-4 % of dentists in Hong Kong are orthodontists. An orthodontist is a dentist who has advance training to specialize in correcting malformation of the teeth and jaws. Orthodontists must first attend a 5-year undergraduate dental program at the University to become dentists. They must then gain additional qualifications (Master of Orthodontics) and further supervised training to satisfy the requirements of the Hong Kong Dental Council to become orthodontists. The training time for an orthodontist in Hong Kong is a minimum of 6 years after becoming a dentist.