School of Life Dentistry at Tokyo
Greetings from the Dean
Akira Hamura D.D.S., Ph.D.
Dean of The Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry at Tokyo
I became dean of the School of Life Dentistry at Tokyo on April 1, 2013. For the previous five years I had served as president of The Nippon Dental University Hospital, but now I am responsible for the entire school.
In 1979 I graduated from the School of Dentistry (now the School of Life Dentistry) of The Nippon Dental University. In 1983 I finished the Ph.D. programme at the graduate school in prosthodontics and dental materials. Thereafter, I engaged in research on impression materials in the Crown & Bridge department. In 1987 I began work at the clinic of geriatric dentistry at The Nippon Dental University Hospital, and in 2001 I worked in general dentistry and psychosomatic dentistry. Starting this term I have moved to the School's department for the dental care of the elderly. Since becoming a dentist and later a teacher at the School, I have been involved largely in clinical work and clinical education. At the affiliated hospital I specialized in the dental care of the elderly and the disabled, but in dental care carried out together with students I have engaged in general dentistry without reference to specialization. It has been 25 years since I left the graduate school.
One of the chief strengths of The Nippon Dental University is its clinical education. There are 29 dental schools in Japan, but few allow students to play a significant role in practical clinical work like our school. What makes this possible is the fact that there are many patients who are willing to cooperate in this type of clinical education in our hospital. This system of our clinical education got underway in 1978, and in addition students have striven to acquire the attitude and demeanor proper to a dental practitioner. In order to qualify as a dentist, students must pass the national examination of dentistry JAPAN, but this exam tests only the students' knowledge, not their technical expertise. Neither does it test students' proper behaviors or communication skills, which are important factors for a dentist. In other words, education in behaviors and technics are left in the hands of the university. It is my hope to foster dental practitioners who can contribute to humanity and the world through a combination of knowledge, skill, and behavior. Most of all, I wish to work toward the education of dental practitioners who continue to grow as human beings after graduation.