The dental health business of Shigeta Dental Clinic consists of founders who are Cambodia’s first Japanese dentists. Shigeta Dental Clinic, established in July 2012, is in its second year of operation, and the dentistry can be considered to be moving in the direction of success as planned by its founders.
Dr Shigeta, 35, is the first Japanese dentist in Cambodia. He grew up in a family of dentists. “My parents and younger brother are also dentists in Japan,” Shigeta said. “All my family members are dentists. We often talk and discuss oral health and how to lead a healthy life in general.
“We believe that oral health leads to a future healthy lifestyle and our clinic helps contribute to that future,” he said.
Shigeta knows that the success of a business depends on money coming back to investors; however, the health sector is not like that. It focuses on saving the patient from danger rather than thinking about profit. As a dentist, Shigeta has an important role to help the patient, and this is the main responsibility of the profession.
“For me, I am a Japanese dentist who has the experience of studying and fulfilling jobs in Australia and Shanghai as well as jobs as a dentist in Tokyo. If we only think about profit, I would not choose Cambodia as my country of operation,” said Shigeta. “In Japan or Australia, as well as in China’s Shanghai, it would surely be more profitable.”
“But I chose Cambodia. I want to share my experience and knowledge with the Cambodian people rather than focus on money. I want to provide an expert service in dentistry with international standards for those living in Cambodia with dental problems. They can come to Shigeta Dental Clinic. Here, we provide a professional service.”
Chhoem Samphos, head of the nursing department at the clinic, said the number of dental patients coming to Shigeta is gradually increasing. “But during this last period, we observe that Japanese people, especially those in the higher echelons of society who are directors of Japanese companies for example, are coming to our clinic. We have seen a noticeable increase of about 35 to 50 per cent in recent times.”
Samphos said “our dentistry team is busier and the profit is increasing accordingly. Shigeta is a highly responsible person and he taught us that to be a doctor we have to bear great responsibility, especially concerning the health of our patients which is the most important factor. We must practice accurately and in accordance with the rules and laws of health science with a high virtue.”
Samphos said that most Cambodian patients that come to Shigeta Dental Clinic are those who have dental problems that have already become quite serious. When they arrive at the clinic they ask the doctor to inject painkillers or extract a painful tooth immediately, but the doctors there explain and advise them according to the actions that will benefit the patient the most. The patients always express great appreciation to the dentists.
“As dentists, we try to protect and treat in whatever way we can to maintain the patient’s natural tooth,” Samphos said. “The treatment of a tooth, or tooth maintenance, requires the doctor to have skill and patience. The equipment must also be of a high standard and medicines and treatments must be in compliance with the law so that we can avoid any danger when treating the patient.”
She added that in Shigeta Dental Clinic most of the equipment and medicine are from Japan with the latest technology and greatly help diagnose and treat our patients.”
Dr Shigeta expressed his view that for a society to be prosperous, it needs all cells to be operational: that is, all individuals must have good health before the society can operate at its true potential. For each individual to be in good health depends on their dental health as well as overall health.