Inside Japan 16: Hideaki Hirooka

Dr. Adam Kassab, Professor of GLOBIS University in Tokyo, invites a variety of guests from around the world to discuss people, culture and business from an “Inside Japan” perspective. The sixteenth guest is Dr. Hideaki Hirooka, Specialist in Periodontics.

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Inside Japan No.16 – Hideaki Hirooka

Guest: Hideaki Hirooka, D.D.S., M.Sc., Sweden Dental Center
Host: Adam Kassab, GLOBIS
Date: June 18, 2013
Venue: Sweden Dental Center, Tokyo
Duration: 28:16

Guest Speaker

The Sweden Dental Center was established 1996 specializing in the treatment of periodontics and implants. The Center serves the Japanese and foreign communities. The bilingual staff is familiar with the latest standards of care in Europe and North America, and provides the highest level of treatment. The office was named the Sweden Dental Center because Dr. Hirooka received his advanced training in periodontology from Gothenburg University in Sweden, having studied there from 1988 to 1993.

As the first stage of the digestive system, the oral cavity plays an essential role in the smooth functioning of the subsequent digestive processes in the stomach and intestines.

Accurate knowledge of the care and treatment of the oral tissues is necessary for protecting the dental health of ourselves and our loved ones.

After graduating from dental school, I spent ten years practicing dentistry in Japan and then another five years studying periodontology (the study of gum disease and implantology) in Sweden.

As a postgraduate student I received considerable clinical training in the Department of Periodontology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, which is world-renown in this field. I came to learn state-of-the-art dentistry, was able to instruct students from around the world, and engaged in basic research. I was also able to investigate the effects of government programs had on the prevention of tooth decay and other dental diseases.

I learned much about how Sweden had been successful in preventing dental disease in the population. I have used this knowledge to keep Japanese doctors updated about treatment methods and scientific approaches by giving frequent lectures.

Training in the field of periodontology emphasizes that dental caries and periodontal disease, which are the two main diseases of the oral cavity, are caused by bacterial infection. Like other diseases, although treatment is of course important, prevention is far better as it allows the individual to avoid the problem.

The advantage of prevention is that the individual avoids getting sick in the first place. Even after the disease is cured, it is still important to practice continuous preventative maintenance to keep a healthy oral environment. This also is a form of prevention.

In order to achieve this goal, it is important to increase the individuals awareness of the importance of dental health and hygiene.

Through a successful public education program, Sweden has been able to dramatically reduce the incidence of dental disease. There is no reason why Sweden's achievements cannot be realized in Japan.

Dialogue Partner

Dr. Kassab has extensive business experience across Asia as well as in Europe and the USA. He has held senior positions at Sanyo Electric, a global Japanese electronics manufacturer, Mercer, a US based global HR Consulting firm, and most recently at Culture Convenience Club, the dominant Japanese player in the consumer entertainment and lifestyle sector. His work has ranged from facilitating European wide strategic planning sessions aimed at exploring synergies and enhancing competitiveness, developing ways to internationalize and globalize business operations, and implementing change programs for overseas subsidiaries.

As well as his strong professional background he also recently completed doctoral research looking into the use of Stories and Storytelling in Organizations as a tool for inspiring employees and bringing about visionary change.

Bachelors degree, History & Philosophy of Science and Philosophy, University of Leeds (UK); Masters Degree, International Resources and Development Studies, University of Leeds (UK); Masters Degree, Organization Change, Ashridge Management Center (UK); Doctoral Research, Hitotsubashi University (JPN)