Finding a good dentist that you are comfortable is important. Talk with your friends and colleagues about what you see as a good dentist and see if they have anyone they can recommend.

Dentists in Japan are quite modern and well-equipped and operate on an appointment system. Most dental clinics have more than one chair in the room and the dentist moves between chairs and patients. If x-rays are taken feel free to ask for a lead apron (purotekuta – プロテクター) if it is not provided.

The usual routine at a dentist is that anything beyond a minor cavity will not be treated in one visit. Usually treatment will start on one visit with a temporary filling to be secured between treatments. A filling or inlay will take between two to four visits. Usually only one tooth will be dealt with at one time.

Payment and Insurance

Your national health insurance in principle does not cover cleaning and check-ups but will cover treatment. However, present your health insurance card and confirm whether the dentist accepts insurance as costs tend to be quite high.

Insurance tends to be limited to basic materials used to repair a tooth, such as a silver and nickel amalgam or resin. Gold fillings and white ceramic caps must be paid for privately and will not be covered by insurance. If you wish to have repairs made using anything other than the basic materials be sure to tell your dentist before any repair work is started, and make sure you discuss the costs involved.