Socialism in liberalism: Agony of Japanese dentists

The moment when I see smile of my patients after treatment is the happiest one as a dentist. 10 years ago, a physician came to my dental office. His chief complaint was pain and swelling in the gum around his upper front tooth. After careful root canal treatment, his symptoms disappeared. I could see his smile in the end. Since then, there has been no troubles for a decade. X-ray showed good prognosis so far. But……….

The cost of dental treatment in Japan is the lowest in the world (bar graph). Health ministry regulates the fee badly in Japanese medical insurance system. Furthermore, the fee of an experienced and skilled dentist is the same as that of an inexperienced and poorly skilled dentist. It’s socialism in a liberal country. The more we treat in the system, the more we become in red. The red is compensated with some treatments which are not covered by insurance, such as ceramic crown, orthodontic treatment and implant. Treatment covered by insurance is like volunteer work. It’s the agony of dentists in Japan.

before my treatment: note gray area (inflamation) around the tip of the root
already treated somewhere, but failure with swelling and pain


10 years after my treatment: note shrinkage of inflamation around the root tip
no symptoms since the treatment


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