Japan is notorious for painful dental care. I was not looking forward to my visit, even though it was a simple teeth cleaning.
After poking around a few dentists’ websites, with the help of a Japanese teacher I was able to find an English speaking dentist. Many advertise they have English speakers, but on the ground experience is teaching me that people lie about their ability.
This dentist DID know English. 8/10 and the dental hygienist who did all the work 6/10. I felt comfortable with our communication ability for a cleaning. I would maybe be a tad nervous if I were there for some problem. But for a cleaning, go for it.
There was no difference between an American cleaning and a Japanese one (aside from a machine that automatically filled my water cup). Some flossing, some scraping, some polishing. I wanted her to pay special attention to the back of two of my teeth because they were stained from coffee. I was given two options: one tool that was covered with insurance and one tool that cost about ¥6000. The dentist told me to go with the free one because that’s all I needed. I took his advice and appreciated his honesty.
The cleaning went by very quickly and was probably the least painful visit I have ever had. I feel like they usually want to punish my gums with flossing, but she was quite gentle. I don’t think I flinched once.
Now my teeth feel great and I can check that grownup chore off my list for another six months.
And it only cost ¥2800 with national insurance.
Where did I go?
I went to Pal Dental Clinic in Kichijoji. It was very easy to find by plugging in their address into my phone. It is right by the post office and a conveyor belt sushi place.
This is their Japanese website. It translates well with whatever your go-to online translator is.
Address: Tokyo, Musashino, Kichijoji, Hon-Cho 1-13-6, Furuya Building, 2F
Or in Japanese if you want to copy and paste it into your phone: 武蔵野市吉祥寺本町1-13-6 古谷ビル2F.
Take the JR Chuo line to the Kichijoji Station and it’s a five minute walk in the direction of Yodobashi Camera. (Yodobashi is the store at the top of the map, to the right and below Pal Dental Clinic.)
Monday-Saturday: 10:00-13:00; 14:30-19:30
Closed Thursdays and Sundays