So, we went to Soejima Dental Clinic to get our teeth cleaned and to take care of my cavities.
Our daughter’s dental experience
Leila had her teeth checked. This was her third time going to the dentist. The first time she went, she didn’t have any teeth but it was a required checkup that 1-year olds in Japan have to do. This time, the dentist checked her mouth and found 3 caries on her front teeth. They’re actually white marks on her teeth. She generally brushes her teeth twice per day with a fluorinated toothpaste BUT she enjoys sweets and of course, we have been indulging her way too much, it seems. Anyway, we got a fluoride mouth wash for her for 500 yen from the dentist’s office which she has to gargle for 30 seconds, preferably at night because she cannot eat 30 minutes after gargling it. She was a bit frozen and scared but she made it through quite well. Also, the dentist was quite reassuring.
My Jaw issues
Me, on the other hand, I have been going to the dentist off and on for the past year or so. More off than on. Each visit takes care of one cavity and I have several cavities. My initial reason for visiting was to take care of my tooth sensitivity and I would also like someone to provide me with a solution to my jaw issues. When I open my jaw wide enough to eat a spoonful of anything, the side of my jaw pops, and my jaw goes to the left of my face. It sounds crazy but it’s true. It also hurts to yawn, smile with my mouth open, laugh, etc. I seriously get a headache just talking and smiling. My jaw muscles are so tired of keeping my face together. Lol. Furthermore, the left side of my teeth overlaps but the right side never touches. So that creates an awkward situation in my mouth that I’m sure many persons can relate to. So because my jaw is crooked, my teeth grind constantly because (apparently) they’re trying to re-align, somehow. I think that the teeth grinding is what is worsening my cavities, because of the constant friction. Of course, my affinity for sweets does not help, one bit! Ok, I’m done venting. Lol.
So that being said, I have to take care of my cavities before thinking about the next step and how to deal with my jaw issues.
My experience going to the dentist in Japan
In my case, I have been to 3 other dentists. Those dentists did not have high-tech equipments like the ones I see in Soejima Dental Clinic. There is almost no comparison in terms of quality. Of course, the dentists were all kind and did what I needed them to do, so either way, it’s good service. Every experience is different. 2/3 dentists did not clean my teeth before tackling the cavity. So the practice of cleaning before fixing cavities might not be something that you might see everywhere in Japan. The initial fee for any dentist is higher than the subsequent visits. You would normally pay between 2000-4000 yen for your first yen (after insurance), and pay 300-900 yen per visit afterwards depending on what you’re doing from basic cleaning to cavity filling. For the administration of anesthetics, the price goes up a little.
My husband is the one that introduced me to this dentist. He had his tooth pulled and replaced with the metal you see in the picture (Tooth extraction and Dental Bridge).
In the video, I show you the different steps of a dental procedure in Japan, from giving your insurance card to the front desk, to paying at the end. This is just to inform persons of the process, which in many cases is not so different from our home countries.
Many thanks to Soejima sensei and his staff for their excellent work and for allowing me to record in their office!