J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2020 Mar;44(1):26-33. 10.11149/jkaoh.2020.44.1.26.

An exploratory study on development policy and the status of oral health care in the North Korea during the Kim Jong-Un era

  • 1Department of Preventive and Social Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea. feeljsh@gwnu.ac.kr


Studies on oral health care in North Korea are being pursued in South Korea. However, the covertness of North Korea offers substantial resistance to the access of information from the country, including in the field of oral health care. In this study, we explored North Korea's oral health care policy and its status in the Kim Jong-Un Era.
We used existing information from Internet searches and also interviewed three health care professionals who had recently contact with North Korea.
At present, there are four development policies of oral health care in North Korea: expansion of dental institutions and resource support, strengthening the prevention and treatment of dental diseases, improvement of dental prosthetics, and increasing the responsibility and role of the dental workforce. In addition, there has been an increasing interest in children's oral health with the development of a few programs.
In order to improve overall oral health care, cooperation is required from North Korea in accessing relevant information in the field of children's oral health, dental prosthetics, and dental materials. For this to occur, there should be a preliminary trust building process between North Korea and South Korea as well as access to information from reliable sources.


Oral health care; North Korea; Exploratory study

MeSH Terms

Access to Information
Delivery of Health Care
Democratic People's Republic of Korea*
Dental Materials
Oral Health*
Stomatognathic Diseases
Dental Materials
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