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Do As Tokyo Does Japanese Dentists
(Entered Feb. 11, 2006)
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japanese dentistsFor all its technological prowess, Japan seems to be behind when it comes to dentistry, or so I've been lead to believe. Having lived here for a few years, various stories and complaints about problems Westerners have experienced under the drill have reached my ears. Of course you get the horror stories of dentists who only pull teeth, or who drill the wrong tooth, etc, but those are more urban legend than fact. What is known for sure is that Japanese dentists take their sweet time to fix your cavities for you. First you gotta come in for a cleaning. Next week you'll get an x-ray. On your next appointment they might make a mold of your tooth to figure out the best way to drill it or whatever. If you're lucky, you might get your cavity filled on the fourth visit, and of course minus many yen from your wallet along the way. Well anyway if it were only these above problems, I might not worry about it too much, but unfortunately when you look around carefully at people in Japan, it does seem that more people here than back home seem to have oral hygienic problems.
Anyway my confidence in Japanese dentists wasn't that high but it seemed that I was destined to find out what they were like first hand. I've had this cavity for years now but I kept putting off getting it taken care of. It's not that I'm scared of the dentist like some people, it was more to do with the fact that I was going to have to pay some serious money to fix it. A while ago I was going home for a short vacation and the estimate from my dentist was something like $400. Although medical insurance is free in Canada, for some reason dental is not included. Anyway I choked and decided once again to put it off. japanese dentistsMore than a year later my cavity had grown so that I could see it clearly when I looked in the mirror. Although it hadn't started to cause any pain I finally, finally decided I was being an idiot just leaving it and prepared myself to pay to have it fixed no matter the cost or hassle. Well I made an appointment with a random dentist near my house and crossed my fingers hoping he'd be one of the good ones. Was I ever lucky! He spoke English, and did a cleaning, took an x-ray and filled my cavity all in one visit! And the best part? I only paid about $50! It doesn't make much sense, and goes against what about 30 different Japanese people have told me about dentists here. Still, I'm not complaining....



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