Dental Development: An Aid to Give Identities and to Inform General Health

Knowledge Exchange Video

'Dental Development: An Aid to Give Identities and to Inform General Health'


Dr Hai Ming Wong and a team of PhD and BDS students in the Faculty of Dentistry have applied dental age assessment to address the social issue of unregistered births in the region. The lack of a registered identity can make it difficult for children to get an education and medical treatment and may leave them vulnerable to abuse. The team has brought dental age assessment and oral health education programmes to two villages in India, where nearly 60 per cent of births are unregistered. Their public awareness programme has reached about 500 families in rural areas of India, and about 150 undocumented children in rural welfare homes had their ages estimated through their efforts. They have established a charity, the D.O.B. (Date of Birth) Foundation, the first of its kind in the world to promote accurate birth records. In addition, about 200 dentists and forensic practitioners in India and Hong Kong have been trained in dental age assessment. They have also transferred knowledge of dental development and oral health care to teachers of primary schools and orphanages in rural areas of Guangxi, China.

Dr Wong and her team received the University’s Knowledge Exchange (KE) Excellence Award 2015 and the Faculty KE Award 2015 of the Faculty of Dentistry for this project.