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The Oral Healthcare System in Japan

Department of Oral Health Promotion, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8510, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2018, 6(3), 79;
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care)
PDF [4125 KB, uploaded 12 July 2018]


This paper describes the present Japanese oral healthcare system and outlines the future challenges and perspectives for Japan. Japan has developed a system for providing high-quality and appropriate health care efficiently through a universal health insurance system which has been in operation since 1961. This health insurance covers most restorative, prosthetic and oral surgery treatment. Therefore, all people can receive dental treatment at a relatively low cost, with the same fees applying throughout the nation. In Japan, public oral health services are provided by the local governments according to the life stage of their populations. These services are mainly conducted by private dental practitioners under contracts with local governments. National oral health data shows that the oral health of the Japanese population has improved over the last several decades. Future challenges and perspectives for Japanese dentistry include: tackling the regional differences in oral health, decreasing the cost of health expenditure, establishment of sustainable emergency oral healthcare services in times of disaster, and the development a new tele-dental system for remote areas without access to dental professionals. View Full-Text
Keywords: oral health; healthcare system; dental workforce; public health insurance; oral health status; Japan oral health; healthcare system; dental workforce; public health insurance; oral health status; Japan

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Zaitsu, T.; Saito, T.; Kawaguchi, Y. The Oral Healthcare System in Japan. Healthcare 2018, 6, 79.

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