Dentists have copped a bad wrap via the internet when it comes to overseas visitors seeking dental care in Japan. Perhaps it is the language barrier, which has contributed to some of the horror stories posted up about seeing the dentist in Japan, whilst on holiday or working visits. Issues like insurance and being able to communicate properly are prevalent in many of the bad dental experience postings. Other notable factors have been a reluctance to offer adequate levels of anaesthetic and having to attend multiple appointments to get something done.
Plenty of Dentists Operating in Japan
As far as the painkilling practices, it may be that the Japanese are a might tougher than us molly coddled westerners. It is true that Japanese dentists like to build up a relationship with clients based on multiple visits and are unlikely to proceed with dental work on the first visit. Another gripe is the lack of privacy in some clinics, with only a curtain separating you from other clients having dental care. This is Japan and they do have different expectations regarding privacy and personal space. What they do have is plenty of dentists practising, which means getting to see a dentist is not that hard, if you can speak the language.
Comparing Dentists is Not Straight Forward
Comparing dentists in Japan with dentists at home in Australia is like comparing apples to oranges, in some ways. We charge a lot for dental care Down Under and deliver top-quality care on that basis. Examine this example here to see what I mean, dental practices like these in Melbourne are not uncommon. The sophistication and presentation of these clinics are first class. Things maybe a little more Spartan and economical in Japan. The true state of dental care in Japan is, actually, pretty darn good.
Amalgams Not Used in Japan
Amalgams are not employed for fillings in Japan, they are illegal, as they are considered a health risk. They use metals for fillings and an impression is necessary. This contributes to the added time factor and multiple visits being required to get a filling done. Thus, the Japanese dentist is probably doing a better job for your overall health than your dentist back home, but it takes longer and the language barrier makes things more difficult. Make sure that you have insurance or have made clear that you are ready to pay upfront for your dental care on the day.