Journal of Oral Tissue Engineering

A Dental Care Survey of Foreigners' Experience in Japan

Department of English, Osaka Dental University, Osaka, Japan

J Oral Tissue Engin 2011;9(2):96-101

A questionnaire was conducted on foreign residents living in the Kyoto-Osaka area during the summer of 2011. The participants were asked about their experiences at dental clinics in Japan and the impressions that were made. Among the responses, it was discovered that a sense of privacy was important for foreign patients and the English communication skills of the dentists appeared to be generally poor. However, the use of visual aids to explain the treatment procedures proved to be helpful in making up for the language deficiencies. Many commented that the showing of a sincere effort to communicate, regardless of English ability, was encouraging and would help in building rapport. Unfortunately, there appeared to be a lack of knowledge concerning regenerative medicine though most showed interest in including it as part of their treatment at dental clinics. The re-sults of the survey implies that in order to answer the needs of foreign patients, there is a necessity to introduce specific conversational skills and topic/vocabulary development to the English classes at dental schools. Assimilation of these skills and incorporating visual aids in the classroom along with improved curriculum would prove to be more effective for the studentfs study of practical dental English.

Key words: foreign residents, dental service, communicative English, education