Disadvantage of Dental Care with National Health Insurance


Healthy Tokyo is delighted to welcome its newest Medical Partner, Nakamaru Dental Clinic, based in Yokohama. Dr. Goro Nakamaru, trained at U.C.L.A. in California, has been running the Nakamaru Dental Clinic since 2002. His clinic treats both Japanese and foreigners of all ages and is well-known in the area for being both incredibly professional and exceptionally kind to its patients. Earlier this year, Dr. Nakamaru made the very difficult decision to stop accepting Japan’s National Health Insurance (NHI). In this article, Dr. Nakamaru shares with us his personal views on the sacrifices one makes when opting to receive dental care from dentists who accept NHI by explaining the disadvantage of dental care with National Health Insurance.

Hello. My name is Goro Nakamaru; I’m the owner of the Nakamaru Dental Clinic in Yokohama. One of my goals as a dentist is to let people know the differences between our private office and other public office clinics that accept Japan’s National Health Insurance (NHI). You see, the way dentists treat teeth between the two kinds are shockingly different. To protect your and your family members’ teeth, you should know the disadvantage of dental care with National Health Insurance before it’s too late.

The bottom line is, we offer much more advanced treatments compared to the treatment provided under NHI. How and why?

1. NHI does not cover the following:

a. porcelain crowns (metal or plastic restoration work is)
b. dental implants
c. orthodontics
d. root canal treatment with dental dam and microscope
e. study models (molds for diagnosis) aren’t even allowed to be taken (How can dentists give a correct diagnosis, then?)
f. some types of X-ray
g. any combination of the above (except porcelain restoration) is not allowed under NHI.

2. Material Regulation: under NHI, Japanese dentists are forced to skimp on the amounts of material they use, amounts that are considered the global standard in other countries.

3. Japanese dentists generally have to see more than twenty patients a day under NHI to keep their office running. This means they have to finish their work extremely fast, herding their patients in-and-out like cattle. Can we trust their work to be careful? At Nakamaru Dental Clinic, we only see five patients a day per dentist – each patient is consulted after their treatment.

The next time you visit your dentist, check to see whether or not your dentist puts safety covers on all the equipment. We do, and we use new covers per patient to prevent the transmission of disease in the office.

The quality of dental work is very important to keep your teeth secure. That’s why we invested heavily in a very special industry-grade microscope (5x to 20x magnification) and headset microscope (5x to 8x magnification) so our dentists can see exactly what they’re doing and give our patients precision treatment.


To put it simply and honestly, due to the disadvantage of dental care with National Health Insurance, I do not wish to follow a system that was established some 50 years ago and, since that time, hasn’t changed much. With regards to the dental industry, the NHI system is archaic, and has become overrun with an overabundance of regulations about how to save your teeth (when, in fact, it’s money they’re actually trying to save). At Nakamaru Dental Clinic, our philosophy is to give you extremely personal particular dental treatment free from the chains of government regulations. Please feel free to contact our English-speaking staff with your dental questions, we’re more than happy to help.

Nakamaru Dental Clinic is highly recommended by long-time residents of Yokohama and surrounding areas. Please feel free to review their Medical Partner Page here at HealthyTOKYO.com

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