Oldest dentist Etsuro Watanabe with his wife

Dr Etsuro Watanabe has been recognized as the oldest dentist (male) at 99 years and 133 days old.

Etsuro was born on 31 October 1924 in Oshino Village, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. At the age of 15, he moved to Tokyo to become an apprentice at a dental practice and attended school at night.

In 1944, Etsuro was called up for military service, which took him to China. There, he worked as a combat medic. A year after the end of the war, he returned to Japan and started working as a dental technician.

Etsuro Watanabe (left) in his final year of Dental College

Read this article in Japanese here and find more news in Japanese here.

Etsuro entered a dental college in 1947 and successfully passed a national dentist exam four years later. After a few years of working with other dentists, Etsuro came back to his hometown of Oshino and opened his own practice in 1953. And the rest is history.

Etsuro Watanabe (left) with his family

Because he was the only dental clinic in the village, Etsuro had no problem finding patients.

In the past, Etsuro even had to make his patients' dentures himself as there were no laboratories that did it. His family recalls how he would disappear after dinner to create dentures until late into the night. 

His clinic operated from Monday to Friday, but when Etsuro turned 92, he reduced his operation to mornings only.

Oldest Dentist 2

Etsuro has five daughters, eight grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. 

At home, Etsuro loves spending time in his garden growing blueberries, beans, and tomatoes. He believes his healthy diet is contributing to his long life.

Oldest Dentist

Although Etsuro is not working as relentlesly as he did in the past, he says it's his patients that keep him going.

When I see my patients happy, it makes me feel that what I am doing is worth it. I'd like to contribute to the community for as long as I have the energy to allow it. - Etsuro Watanabe

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