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A family dentist who is responsible for treatment of patients until the end of their lives.

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A family dentist who is responsible ...

S dental clinic (Kagoshima, Japan)

Longing for a craftsman-like dentist who practices diligently

“I am the one I depend on. Who else should I rely on?”

-A person relies on own self. We should train ourselves to be strong physically and mentally.-

These words from the Shorinji Kempo martial arts have been a life-long mantra for Dr. Kouki S. from Kagoshima Prefecture.

Dr. Kouki was born and raised in Kagoshima Prefecture, which is blessed with rich natural environment of sea and mountains. He loved to make specimens of insects and plants he collected by arranging them neatly. When Dr. Kouki became a high school student and had to think about his career path, the first thing that came to his mind was becoming a dentist.

“At that time, I had an image of dentists to be a craftsmen who works hard,” he said. “I didn’t originally dislike working with my hands, and I felt like it suited me, being a soft-spoken person.”

Dr. Kouki explains why he chose to become a dentist.

Wanting to live in the city once, he entered a dental college in the Kanto region. Immediately after entering the university, he was invited to join the Karate martial arts club by an older student who was also from Kagoshima Prefecture.

It was not really his intention to enter Karate martial arts club, but once he started, he found himself drawn more and more to the fascinating aspects of the Karate martial arts that he was facing. It was around that time that he came to know the scripture mentioned at the beginning of this article.

“I learned it from a friend who was a member of another club, and it just clicked with me. I have treasured it ever since.”

Thanks to his training, he has become so good that he always places in the top ranks at national dental school competitions.  “When I was in college, I was more enthusiastic about club activities than studying (laughs). I was blessed with good seniors and friends, and I really enjoyed myself. I think it is because of this experience that I am able to communicate well with my patients and staff now that I have opened my own clinic.” Dr. Kouki looks back happily.

His smile can be seen even over face mask.

Days spent acquiring skills and knowledge to open a business in the future

Dr. Kouki is the only son. After graduating from university, He became a resident in the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery at a university medical school in Tokyo, in order to become a dentist capable of systemic management. He received instruction not only in oral surgery but also in general dentistry. “It was a complete change from when I was a student,” he says, “and I had to see patients from early in the morning until late at night, and I had to be on duty every day. It was also a constant reminder of my lack of knowledge and skills. Every day I thought I had to improve.”

It was during his training period that he met someone who became a role model for him.

“The senior doctors there were not only skilled in dentistry, but also had truly wonderful personalities. They really made me want to be a dentist like them.”” he said.

After spending three fulfilling years as a resident, including instruction in dentures as well as oral surgery, Dr. Kouki moved to a medical corporation in Saitama Prefecture and became the director of its branch office. After three years, he decided to return home as he had originally planned, and began concrete preparations for opening his own clinic.

His rigorous training period was the cornerstone of his current life as a dentist.

(Dr. Kouki is on the right in the back of this photo)

The building was designed based on photos on “Zoom Up”.

Fortunately, a suitable site for the clinic was quickly found. In the center of the community, a former flour mill of sweet potato, which is a specialty of Kagoshima, was being developed, and 30 lots were on the market. He purchased 4 lots near the lots’ entrance. The land was large enough to accommodate a parking lot.

“In preparation for my future opening, I had been cutting out photos of dental clinics which I found on Zoom Up and other websites since I was a practicing dentist. That helped me a lot when I was building the clinic. I showed them to the architect and asked him to make it exactly like them.”

This effort became the result of the cement recessed decorative frames at the main entrance of the building and the tail-shaped wood partitions. Dr. Kouki says, “I aimed for a universal design that is not too stylish, but not too old-fashioned, and that everyone, from children to the elderly, can easily visit, as well as a clinic that is bright and clean.” He also says, “All units are Osada products. I had been using Osada units at both the university hospital and the branch hospital. When I started my practice, I was advised by a local senior colleague that ‘Osada units rarely break down and are well maintained,’ so I decided on Osada without hesitation. In fact, they were quick to respond to even minor problems, allowing us to continue our busy practice without any trouble.”

In November 2000, “S Dental Clinic” opened.

The entrance in artful design.

We have come this far because of our patients and good staff.

Seventeen years after opening, S Dental Clinic is firmly rooted in the community. The number of patients has steadily increased, and the year before last, Opal Comfort was additionally introduced. It was installed close to the waiting room for the convenience of patients in wheelchairs and those with limited mobility.

“The chair swivels 180 degrees, so patients can get in and out from the side or the back of chair, and it has a support arm to help support their bodies, which is very much appreciated by patients and their attendants. Also, the air turbine is high performance and very comfortable to use. The ceramic spittoons also look great, and it was the right decision to install them. I didn’t plan on it at all, but the installation was so good that I subsequently replaced all the units we had before.” He says smilingly. Looking back over the past 17 years, he realizes more, “Even if we think we have provided 100% medical care from our side, patients are sometimes not satisfied. In fact, I have received some complaints. But on the contrary, I learned a lot from that, and it encouraged me to do my best to satisfy them the next time. I also feel happy and rewarded when they thank me that their denture fits perfectly and they can now eat delicious food. I am here today because of the many patients who have nurtured me. I am very grateful.” The grateful Dr. Kouki continues, “There is not so much I can do on my own. I think the hard work of our staff is one of the main reasons why we are supported by the local community. I want to say ‘thank you’ to them as well.”

Staff members are highly regarded for their “gentle and courteous treatment.

Community activities such as the dental association and marathon club.

Dr. Kouki is also enthusiastic about community activities. One such activity is promoting community health activities as an officer of the Dental Association. Another is serving as the executive director of the “Nico Nico (Smile Smile) Running Club,” a marathon running club. The Nico Nico Running Club was established by Dr. Kouki and his friends. They participate in marathons and relay races wearing matching T-shirts designed by Dr. Kouki himself.

Many of his regular patients have been coming to the clinic since its opening.

“As a family dentist, I want to be responsible for their care until the end of their life,” he says.

The initial “S” of the clinic’s name is also Smile, his family name, and the first letter of the Japanese word for “happiness. He and his staff will continue to bring smiles and happiness to the people of the community.

Opal comfort rotates 180 degree for entry/exit of patients.

It is especially appreciated by patients on wheel chair for “easy entry/exit”.

Since the beginning, Dr. Kouki has careful and detailed discussion with a dental technician for denture.

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