Membership as of 31 December 2011:3427 .
Dentist; 965, Dental Hygienist; 68 (1925),
Dental Technician; 1 (75), Others*2; 3 (370), Company; 20
*1. The number in parenthesis indicates associate members. Dentists and companies can not be enrolled as an associate member. Only those who work at the member-dentist’s clinic can be enrolled as an associate member by notification of their employer.
*2. Includes dental assistants, students in dental colleges/ schools and dental hygienist training schools, and other medical or health professionals.
The primary task of people engaged in medical profession is to work for and on behalf of patients, who wish to live more healthily and in greater comfort. With advances in the medicine and other sciences and changes in relevant institutions and attitudes, the role of dentists has changed also; nonetheless, some still maintain the spirit of making a contribution to the society just as the pioneers in medicine and dentistry have always shown. Looking at the current trend in the dental practice in Japan, we may wonder if we can state with confidence that we are really contributing to the society.
As in other sciences, modern dentistry, too, has made great progress in both its knowledge and techniques. However, not a few dentists have forgotten their ideal, namely, elimination of oral diseases. Instead, they have devoted themselves to cosmetic restoration of unhealthy teeth. Today, some practitioners, mistakenly, even regard aesthetic prosthesis as dentistry’s primary purpose. Moreover, dental research is divided into small sub-categories that are remote from clinical practice, and dental education is not always inspired by the spirit of making a contribution to the society–that is establishment of healthier society. The Japanese government’s medical policy encourages dentists to spend more time on aftercare and gives them no incentive or motivation to exert themselves to prevent disease from occurring or recurring.
In fact, many dentists and dentistry researchers are aware of these issues. And with the achievement of economic stability, the increase in population aging and the decrease in the birth rate, people are increasingly interested in their health.
What should be done about this situation? Our first task is to inform people of the fact that dentistry can prevent the majority of dental diseases. But will dentists be ready to practice their profession after people are better informed?
Fortunately, dentists in certain advanced (advanced, that is, in dentistry) countries are changing from providing restorative care to providing preventive care, from the prosthesis of unhealthy teeth to the preservation of healthy dentition. In brief, they are willing to become people’s lifelong consultants. As Japanese dentists, we would like to gather and organize, from the clinical viewpoint, what we have discovered and learned to date in order to utilize these data in our work. In theory at least, we are on a road that will hopefully soon lead to a situation where we prevent many cases of disease, approach actual cases in etiotropical manner, prevent recurrence in many cases, taking account of biological factors, and help patients preserve their healthy dentition. Many factors can cause dental diseases, and these factors have not always been explained in conventional etiological terms. However, as far as caries and periodontitis are concerned, knowledge and technique can be shared by dentists. We wish to have an environment where we can learn from and teach each other about the results of research and clinical activities, so that we can try to solve problems and overcome difficulties encountered during our work and discuss such questions together. For this purpose, we will also have to establish a new framework and procedures for presenting the results of clinical research that are more suitable to the environment we desire.
During this process, dentists, researchers, and educators will have to work together to establish and provide more effective methods for preventing dental disease.
We hope that dental researchers, people involved directly with dental treatment, and people hoping for developments in the world of dentistry will identify with our desires and intentions and will provide us with invaluable support in presenting our concepts of this new health care management to both specialists and the public. We also want to help and educate those wishing to be dentists or dental hygienists so that they can apply these concepts in practice, and we especially help want to help those willing to be leaders in the field of health promotion. We intend to distribute research results that have been obtained and will be obtained during our daily activities to as many of those engaged in dentistry and dental health and hygiene as possible. This will, we hope, contribute to improving the general state of society.
With the aim of achieving these objectives, we have decided to found the association to be called ” The Japan Health Care Dental Association”
The Representatives, the Preparatory Committee for Organizing
“The Japan Health Care Dental Association”