Dental clinics in the modern societyIn modern Japanese society, dentistry is mainly offered through outpatient services at dental clinics. Only patients with severe symptoms that require surgeries with general anesthesia, for example, tend to be treated in general hospitals with dentistry or dental surgery departments. Unlike hospitals, which most commonly operate as medical corporations, dental clinics are often privately owned.
The dentistry profession is mainly divided into dentists, dental hygienists, and dental technicians. Dental hygienists assist the treatment and surgeries of patients, while dental technicians manufacture dental-related parts like prostheses and artificial teeth. Due to the stagnating or declining population in many regions in the country, an oversupply of dentistry clinics has become a problem in recent years. Consequently, an increasing number of dental clinics provide more specialized and profit-oriented services such as dental implants or teeth whitening - both not covered by insurance.