A Dental Hygienist in South Korea by Bo Kyoung Kim – english version


Can you describe Korea in a general way?

Korea is located in east side of Asia.

Korea has a lot of mountains and it is surrounded by seas. North and west side are close to China, and south side is close to Japan. Many things are pretty simular in culture with those countries but there are obvious differences present.

Korea is a small country but we have 2 global companies, like Samsung and LG.

In dental field,  11 dental schools and 82 dental hygiene schools. The number of dental associated programs tell you, we have been progressed in dental technology. So I would like to say, we have many potential becoming a dental field leader in the world.

Can you describe us your professional path until the present day?

I graduated 3 years of dental hygiene school in 1997. I worked as dental hygienist for 10 years in Korea. Then I decided to go abroad. I went to Canada to study dental hygiene. So I was in Canada as a dental assistant and a dental hygienist for 5 years.

Then  I came back to my country. I became a student for Master Degree in dental school and also started to work as a part time instructor in dental hygiene school. Now, I have finished my PhD program in Oral pathology. I realized that if you have better understand what is going on patient hard and soft tissue, it will open your eyes up and  think big.

Why did you choose dental hygiene?

Honestly, the reason why I choose the dental hygiene was because it showed high employment rate. Then I found that I love this job more after the clinical training. Having a good hands-on skill and having a good communication skill are really fit on me. I found that I enjoyed what I did.

How can you describe dental hygiene in Korea?

Korea dental hygiene’s range of work are pretty wide. We are doing almost everything in dental field such as debridement and fluoride, sealant, taking X-rays and impressions for prothetics and so on. So I would like to say we are working as a dental hygienist, a dental therapiest and an assistant.

In the past, we were doing invasive treatment but recently we have changed prophylactic therapy to be in line with newest periodontal concept. Many dental leader are making and running a new preventive program in their practice. So we will have our own data of what are the most effective program.

What was the most remarkable moment in your carrer?

To be honest, I never imagine what I’ll be studying  after graduating college.

However, the more I like my job, the more I wanted to do something better for patients. That makes me to study again. In my memory, when i graduated dental hygiene school in Canada was the most remarkable moment in my life. To me it was very long and hard time to live and study in other country  with using second language and no relative there. But i finally did it.

In you daily work you can’t live without what?

I am working at a dental office in Gangnam. I do mostly teeth debridement,  periodontal work and fluoride and teeth whitening. One thing I can’t live without is perioflow-plus(EMS).  All the work that I’m handing are always starting with biofilm removal with power products. Especially Airflow-plus power can use in supra and subgingival area. It is very convenient and a time saver.

Do you have any projects for the future?

There are many countries do not have a dental hygienist job position. I believe a dental hygiene’s role in oral health are really important. So, i want to be an educator to plant a in seed dental hygiene program as a pioneer.

Since last year, I have teach proper power scaling technique(piezoelectric and sonic scaler)in the part of the continous education program. In the practice we  use power scalers for most of patients but we practice mainly manual scaler in school. I want to be a professional instructor in power scaling area.

Leave an advise for the rookies.

Hi everyone.13531993_2068850246673773_329489849_n

I am not sure many of you know about Korea and Korea dental hygienists.

We will host IFDH 2019 in seoul Korea. Of course we will prepare good lecture for the symposium. Also we have many activities to enjoy. Please. Come and join IFDH 2019 in seoul Korea. You will be happy here.

Any other concerns about visiting Korea please check this website



Bo Kyoung Kim