Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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369 Motivated International Health Organization with Miho Imamura : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

369 Motivated International Health Organization with Miho Imamura : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

4/19/2016 4:07:48 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 446

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Howard sat down in Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan with orthodontist Dr. Miho Imamura DDS, PhD who learned to speak English in Iowa where she traveled to and from Des Moines from 1985 to 2010 to study American dentistry and CWF - Community Water Fluoridation. Currently the only two cites in Japan that use CWF are Niigata and Kyoto. 

Dr. Miho Imamura teaches orthodontics in Tokyo 10 times per year to both orthodontist and general dentists. She says the orthodontists don't like it when she teaches general dentists orthodontics but she says general dentists need to know and understand orthodontics. 

Dr. Miho Imamura teaches myofunctional therapy four times per year in Tokyo to both orthodontists and general dentists. Her mentor in myofunctional was Bill Zickefoose in Iowa who passed away in 2015. Her other mentor is Dr Toshihide Ohno in Yokohama, Japan which is a suburb of Tokyo. 

Dr. Miho Imamura DDS, PhD has a teaching institute named MIHO which is her name and is used as an acronym: Motivated International Health Organization.

www.mihokyoseishika.net 

Howard:

It is just a huge, huge honor to be with an orthodontist, Dr. Miho Imamura.

 

Miho:

Nice to meet you. Welcome to . . .

 

Howard:

We are in Kofu Yamanashi Japan which was about an hour and a half train ride from Tokyo.

 

Miho:

Right.

 

Howard:

That train was going pretty fast. How fast was that train going?

 

Miho:

I don't know 200 kilos or something an hour.

 

Howard:

Yeah, it was moving.

 

Miho:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

I assumed it was going 200 miles an hour.

 

Miho:

Maybe I think, five years later we'll have our Super Express from Tokyo to here. Only 20 minutes.

 

Howard:

20 minutes.

 

Miho:

20 minutes.

 

Howard:

Is it working now?

 

Miho:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

Could I take that back?

 

Miho:

Oh no, no, no.

 

Howard:

Five years later. Oh five years from now?

 

Miho:

Yeah, yeah.

 

Howard:

Okay five years from now, okay. In Japan probably only about 10% of the dentists speak English.

 

Miho:

Right. They can understand, but they cannot speak.

 

Howard:

Yeah and the reason is when you study languages, it's called the Rule of Fifty Million. If you're born on earth and you have 50 million people to talk to, you usually don't learn another language. When you go to China, no one really speaks English. When you go to Brazil. Brazil has 200 million people, they all speak Portuguese. Japan has a 127 million people, but when you go to small country like Denmark, most people know five languages, because when you grow up in a country with only five million people, you'd want to learn German, Italian, Spanish and English. You learned English, because from 1985 to 2010 you made several trips, like once a month for . . .

 

Miho:

Yes, back and forth.

 

Howard:

Tell them about your journey, about why you kept going back to Iowa?

 

Miho:

Yeah, at the beginning I went to Iowa, that was the first time in 1985. It was just an exchange program to spend a few months to learn the prevention way and prevention against cavities.

 

Howard:

Were you already a dentist in '85?

 

Miho:

Yeah, I did. I graduated from my dental school in 1985. I just went to Iowa that year. Then I just found a good program in Iowa to prevent for the kids. Not only for the kids, but also the adults. The cavities, the perio, or any kind of prevention is kind of ahead more than Japan. I like to establish my own way prevention in Japan, here in Kofu too, for my patients. Then I went to Iowa. I had the patients at that time. That's why I came back. I have to come back to Japan, Kofu to treat my patients, three weeks here and one week in research and study in Iowa. Then back and forth every month.

 

Howard:

You did that every month from 1985-2010?

 

Miho:

Yeah. That was many trips . . .

 

Howard:

How many was that 25 years?

 

Miho:

Oh actually . . .

 

Howard:

What is that '85, '95, 2005.

 

Miho:

Yeah.

 

Howard:

25 years.

 

Miho:

Not every year. I think it was ten years back and forth every month. After that every three months, every four months, every six months, and then now . ..

 

Howard:

Who was paying for you to go back and forth?

 

Miho:

Yeah I did. I did from my salaries.

 

Howard:

You're like a saint. You're like a saint.

 

Miho:

Oh no.

 

Howard:

You flew back there one week a month for 25 years.

 

Miho:

Yeah, right.

 

Howard:

Just to learn about prevention to bring back to your city of Kofu.

 

Miho:

Not only prevention, but also every information from the United States dentistry. I'm an orthodontist. I was at the time. Just I just learned so many techniques to appliances and supplies and everything. At the time I couldn't get everything, because the Japaneses government takes a long time to have the new product from abroad. I saw something very good and new in the United States, but I couldn't get it. I can just bring it by myself with me. Then I just used for my patients. That is kind of a bonus in the treatment I did. I could. Then there's a profit to go to Iowa every month, so that is another way, another thing to do.

 

Howard:

You know it's something that dentists don't like to talk about, it's in the closet. I meet dentists in multiple countries all the time that take vacations to other countries with two empty suitcases. Buy tons of dental supplies, whatever that they can't get back in their country.

 

Miho:

Especially Asia, yeah, yeah.

 

Howard:

They can't get them back in their country or their country has a distributor that marks everything up, like 40%, 50%, 100%.

 

Miho:

Right.

 

Howard:

I know dentists in European countries that will go to the next country and buy all their implants at half the price and then fly back. It's done more than everybody talks about. You had a big interest in community water fluoridation?

 

Miho:

Yes, at that time I just wondered why Japan's government doesn't like to permit the people to have fluoridation. Halfway I found its people doesn't like to have a fluoridation in the water, because people like to have just pure water here in Japan. They don't like to have chemical things in the water. That is not only from the government's side but also the Japanese custom, Japanese and maybe people thinking, the habits or something. Then I just gave up to put fluoridation in the water. I just needed to have more special way for the people, especially I put the braces on the teeth. This is kind of risky for the gum and teeth.

 

 

Then I just put the fluoride at home, my home care, or clinical care, or clinic, or office care. These more special things I needed to establish for each patient's program. That is my way.

 

Howard:

Well you know water fluoridation is easy when you're like Singapore, where the government just makes a decision, end of story.

 

Miho:

Right, right.

 

Howard:

There's no elections.

 

Miho:

Uh-huh.

 

Howard:

In the United States each town votes on it. On any given day 25% of the towns vote no, so it's only in three out of every four towns in America. You're saying in Japan it's only in Nagata and Kyoto?

 

Miho:

Kyoto, yeah.

 

Howard:

Kyoto, how do you pronounce the other one?

 

Miho:

Nagata and Kyoto.

 

Howard:

Nagata and Kyoto?

 

Miho:

Kyoto. Not only, not for, just a small few cities they voted to accept fluoridation in the water. In Kyoto and Nagata the special city, they have a very good program for the prevention, but only a few cities in Japan still now, still.

 

Howard:

You have probably gone back and forth between two great nations, the United States and Japan more than any dentist on earth. I've never heard of anybody going back and forth as much as you have. What are the main differences between dentistry in the United States and Japan? What would you say?

 

Miho:

I think the most different thing is our insurance is so different. The Japanese insurance covers everything, because this is a government insurance means. Private insurances in Japan, in the United States, you have insurance in the private, right? Japanese government controls everything, the insurance. Then they control the price and this and this. The price of the treatment is so different. I mean the Japanese treatment is cheaper, more than American.

 

Howard:

Explain it. What is the Japanese insurance company called?

 

Miho:

We have two kinds of insurance, the government insurance and the social insurance. Then these are the two kinds of insurance.

 

Howard:

Japanese government insurance?

 

Miho:

Uh-huh.

 

Howard:

And social . . .

 

Miho:

Social. Social means a company paid.

 

Howard:

Okay, so Japanese government.

 

Miho:

The government pay or the company pay. Total treatment fees it's the same.

 

Howard:

The fees are the same?