Phrases used at dental clinics in Japan

Hi. I’m Yohji who hasn’t had cavities for more than 10 years. Do you have cavities?  Cavities suddenly start to hurt. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to see a dentist just because you cannot explain your condition in Japanese. In this article, I will explain the phrases often used by dentists in English and Japanese as a set.  If you don’t know how to say a phrase in Japanese that isn’t in the article, feel free to ask me in the comments or DM on Twitter. Let me explain!
*Here, it is assumed that you are a resident of 3 months or more in Japan.

Basic knowledge before seeing a dentist

Other than not being good at Japanese, you may be worried because you don’t understand the Japanese dental treatment system.  First, I would like to tell you about the features of Japanese dentistry.

Difference in treatment content between overseas and Japanese

In Japanese dental treatment, using filling that called silver teeth are not used overseas.

Treatment cost and Treatment level

Treatment costs are reasonable than overseas because it is covered by health insurance.  (The article below may be helpful for the types of insurance.) When you first see a dentist, it always costs 700 yen or more.  This is the basic charge for the first appointment.  However, since the treatment is divided into several times, it may not cost more than 5,000 yen at a time.  If you’re worried about paying for your treatment, ask your dentist or staff how much you’ll need next time. The treatment level will be as high as overseas.  Japanese dentists are good at detailed work and treat them neatly.

Japanese Hospital Examination Guide

Necessary items

Health insurance card

Residence card and passport

Medicine notebook

Cash

Flow of consultation and treatment

Make an appointment for the dental clinic
  • You can find the phone number for an appointment  on the dental clinic sign or its website.

Example)

Clinic staff
Clinic staff

Hello, this is ▲▲ dental clinic.
はい、▲▲歯科です。

You
You

I’m likely to have tooth decay, so I’d like to ask for treatment. Can I make an appointment?
虫歯(むしば)がありそうで治療(ちりょう)をお願いしたいのですが、予約(よやく)できますか。

Clinic staff
Clinic staff

Please tell me the desired appointment date.
ご希望(きぼう)の日(ひ)にちはありますか。

You
You

Can I make an appointment at MM / DD / HH?
MM / DD / HHは予約(よやく)できますか。

Clinic staff
Clinic staff

We made an appointment. May I have your name and phone number?
予約をお取りしました。 お名前(なまえ)とご連絡先(れんらくさき)を教(おし)えていただけますか。

You
You

I’m ▲▲. Phone number is 090-****-****
名前(なまえ)は▲▲です。 電話番号(でんわばんごう)は090-****-****です

Clinic staff
Clinic staff

Thank you. Please be careful on your way here.
お気(き)を付(つ)けてご来院(らいいん)ください。

Take the necessary items and go to the dental clinic on the appointment date and time
Reception
  • Issue a Health insurance card.
    Just in case, bring your passport and residence card. A reception staff may ask if this is your first visit to this dental clinic.
  • Receive the medical interview sheet and fill in the required items.
  • After completing the  medical interview sheet, hand it to the staff at the reception counter.
    It is OK to show the original memo to be introduced later to the staff
  • Wait in the waiting room until your turn comes.
Enter the examination room
  • Enter the examination room when your name is called.
Communicate the symptoms.
  • Tell your symptoms as far as you can understand Japanese.
    It is OK to show the memo introduced later to the dentist.
  • Dentists can understand simple English words.
Wait in the waiting room after the examination
  • Wait in the waiting room to pay the treatment fee.
  • When your name is called, go to the reception counter.
Pay the treatment fee
  • Most dental clinic  only accept cash.
Get a prescription
  • Receive a prescription to get medicine at the pharmacy.
  • There are also dental clinic where they can prescribe medicine.  In that case, you will pay the medicine fee together with the treatment fee.
Give the prescription and medicine notebook to the pharmacy staff
  • Leave the  dental clinic and head for the pharmacy.
    There is always a pharmacy near the dental clinic.
  • If you are going to a pharmacy for the first time in Japan tell the pharmacy staff that there is no medication notebook.
Wait in the waiting room
  •  When your name is called, go to the counter.
Get an explanation of the medicine
  • You may get a lot of explanations about medicines,
    It’s okay if you can understand only when to take the medicine.
Pay for medicine
  • Pay the medicine fee at the pharmacy, not at the clinic.
Done
Complete Guide to Buying Japaneses Medicine in Japan

Evaluation by the staff before getting a medical examination

Most dental clinics have to write a medical interview sheet before the examination.  The medical interview sheet is a document that tells your dentist about the your medical conditions.  The following is an example of the items to be filled in the medical interview sheet.

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Where does it hurt? 
  • When did it hurt?
  • Are there any medicines you are taking?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you drink or smoke?
  • Are you pregnant? etc.

However, it may be difficult to fill these up in Japanese or explain them to your dentist. Hence, I made an original memo so that your medical condition can be communicated to dentists and staff just by showing the screen of your smartphone.  If you have difficulty speaking in Japanese, please show this form to the staff.

How to use original memo

Copy the text and image on your smartphone’s notepad.
Rewrite your information only in the text part.
Take a screenshot.
Mark up the corresponding check box in the photo app.
Take a screenshot and show it to the hospital staff.
Done

Original memo

Please copy the part below from here to the memo app on your smartphone. 


日本語が少ししか話せないので、問診票を書いてきました。
 ●Name : Yoji Yoshimaru
 ●Sex : Male
 ●Age & Date of Birth : 36, 1984/7/22
 ●Address : Tokyo-to, Itabashi-ku…
 ●Phone number : 090-****-****
 ●Language:


Feel free to copy this memo on your smartphone.

Phrases used at dental clinics

Before treatment

Example)

Situation 1

Dentist
Dentist

Hello.  What did you do today?
こんにちは。今日(きょう)はどうされましたか。

You
You

I may have cavities.  My tooth hurts.
虫歯(むしば)がありそうで、歯(は)が痛(いた)いです。

Dentist
Dentist

Could you please open your mouth?
口(くち)を開(あ)けてもらえますか

Situation 2

Dentist
Dentist

First, let’s take an X-ray.  We want to check the condition of your teeth.
初(はじ)めにレントゲンを撮(と)りましょう。
口(くち)の状態(じょうたい)を確認します。

You
You

The staff will guide you to the X-ray room, so wait. 
When taking an X-ray, remove metal accessories and watches and other metal materials.

Treatment in progress

Situation 1

Dentist
Dentist

OK. Your teeth are cleaned and polished. Please rinse out your mouth now.
歯(は)をきれいにして磨(みが)きました。口(くち)をゆすいでください。

Situation 2

Dentist
Dentist

 It has cavities.  Sharpen your teeth and treat them.  You may feel a little pain.  If it hurts please raise your hand and tell me.
虫歯(むしば)があります。削(けず)って治療(ちりょう)します。痛(いた)ければ手(て)を上(あ)げて教(おし)えてください。

Situation 3

Dentist
Dentist

Put the filling.  Please clackety-clack (check the engagement).  how is it?
詰(つ)め物(もの)を入(い)れました。カチカチしてみてください。どうですか。

You
You

Please scrape a little more. or Get caught a little when you touch my tongue. or Just right.
もう少(すこ)し削(けず)ってください。or 舌(した)に当(あ)てた時(とき)に少(すこ)し引(ひ)っ掛(か)かります。

Situation 4

Dentist
Dentist

I’ll pull out the teeth.  Anesthetize.  A little tingling. <injection>
歯(は)を抜(ぬ)きます。麻酔(ますい)をします。少(すこ)しチクっとします。

After treatment

situation 1

dentist
dentist

If you have a toothache, take a pain reliever.
歯(は)が痛(いた)ければ、痛(いた)み止(ど)めを飲(の)んでください。

situation 2

Clinic staff
Clinic staff

The payment is ▲▲ yen.
お支払(しはら)いは▲▲円(えん)です。

Situation 3

Clinic staff
Clinic staff

When will you make the next appointment? or Next time please come on MM / DD.
次回(じかい)の予約(よやく)をお取りしましょうか。 or 次回(じかい)はMM / DDに来(き)てください。

Words

  • front tooth:前歯(まえば)
  • molars:奥歯(おくば)
  • wisdom tooth:親知(おやし)らず
  • babyteeth:乳歯(にゅうし)
  • permanent tooth:永久歯(えいきゅうし)
  • vampire tooth:八重歯(やえば)
  • buck tooth:出(で)っ歯(ぱ)
  • post crown:差(さ)し歯(ば)
  • cavity:虫歯(むしば)
  • upper tooth:上(うえ)の歯
  • lower tooth:下(した)の歯
  • upper molars:上(うえ)の奥(おく)の歯(は)
  • lower front tooth : 下(した)の前(まえ)の歯(は)
  • the second tooth from the back:奥(おく)から2番目(にばんめ)の歯(は)
  • silver crown:銀歯(ぎんば)
  • filling:詰(つ)め物(もの)
  • crown:被(かぶ)せ物(もの)
  • brush:歯磨(はみが)き
  • tooth brush:歯(は)ブラシ
  • tooth paste:歯磨(はみが)き粉(こ)
  • a row of teeth:歯並(はなら)び
  • bite:噛(か)み合(あ)わせ
  • rinse / gargle:うがい
  • dental check-up:歯科検診(しかけんしん)



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Conclusion

It is good not to have cavities, but if you have cavities, you should go to the dental clinic even if you are not confident in explaining your condition in Japanese. If you still have trouble reading this article, you can feel free to contact me.  Please leave a comment or DM on Twitter and please follow us on Twitter.

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2 COMMENTS

Rob

hi Youjiさん。My name is Rob and I lived in Japan for 10 years. Your website is amazing! 素晴らしい!Nice job. I will check out your other webpages soon.
I don’t want to use my credit card. Can I donate with Paypal?

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Yohji

Hi Rob,
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope it helps you and other foreigners.
Of course also can use Paypal.Couuld you access Buy me a coffee on my blog?

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