Taking good care of your oral health is a key part of maintaining your overall well-being. But in Japan, it can sometimes be challenging to find dental specialists who have the expertise to provide comprehensive treatment while providing service in English.
Fujimoto International Dental Clinic offers exactly that, right in the heart of Tokyo. The clinic was founded in 1981 and moved to its current location on a quiet street in Ginza in 2003. It is run by Dr. Kohei Fujimoto, who trained at Tokyo Dental College and in periodontics and implant dentistry at the University of Washington. He is an active member of the American Academy of Periodontology and—as a certified member of the American Board of Periodontology—is a specialist in periodontal therapy. Dentistry runs in his family: Kohei is a third-generation dentist and his father, Dr. Junhei Fujimoto, who founded the clinic, trained and taught in the United States and wrote a textbook about dental prosthetics that is used by two-thirds of the dental schools in the United States.
But as the younger Fujimoto points out, he wasn’t inspired at first by his family to become a dentist. It was an orthodontist who helped straighten his teeth when he was a boy, and he was fascinated by the work that went into his practice. The rest is history.
Professional Expertise and Service in English
Kohei is fluent in English and he appreciates being able to work with patients from around the world. “I enjoy seeing foreign patients. And I noticed that a lot of foreign patients had difficulty getting dental treatment in Japan. This might apply to medical treatment in general, but I think a lot of medical doctors speak English. But it may be difficult to communicate in English when it comes to dental services.” He added that about 20 to 30 percent of the clinic’s patients come from overseas. Currently there are two English-speaking doctors at the clinic, so inquiries and appointments can be arranged easily over the phone or by e-mail.
While Fujimoto International Dental Clinic does not accept Japanese health insurance, they can serve patients with a wide variety of needs, from consultations and simple procedures such as checkups and fillings to more complicated treatments that require comprehensive care, including dental implants. Kohei’s extensive background in periodontics, dental implants, and dental prosthetics is complemented by his fellow doctor’s expertise in root canals and other dental treatments. And the clinic maintains a network of English-speaking specialists within Japan, so if a patient comes to the clinic and they can’t address their needs there, they can provide referrals.
As Kohei says, the clinic tries to be as flexible as possible when continuing treatment that may have begun at another clinic, either in Japan or abroad, and he regularly consults with patients’ former dentists to discuss their treatments. But when it comes to the clinic, he’s most proud that they take a comprehensive approach when working with new patients. “Ideally, we would like to have a good set of X-rays and other relevant dental information for a detailed evaluation, depending on the needs of the patient. This gives us a good idea of the overall condition of the patient. We always like to see our patients from a holistic point of view, to provide better long-term therapeutic results.”