New York dental office opens with an unexpected visit to China
A new dental office opened with an unusual visit to Beijing.
The Chinese capital is home to some of the most extensive dental work in the world, and the new practice, called the “Dental Hospital of Beijing,” opened Thursday in a former hotel on the top floor of the Great Hall of the People.
“It’s a new kind of practice that is a departure from what you see in New York,” said Andrew Shapiro, a partner at the law firm of Shapir.
“This is a completely new experience for us.”
Shapire said the office, named the “Health Sciences Hospital of China,” is “very different” from what the practice has been in New Jersey, where he is also a partner.
“In New York, you’re at a dentist’s office, but in China you’re working with a dentist,” he said.
“You’re talking to your dentist on a phone call, which is a totally different experience.”
The new clinic was inaugurated at a ceremony attended by a host of Chinese dignitaries, including Premier Li Keqiang and his wife.
“We’re not really a dental hospital, but a dental clinic,” Li said, in a reference to the word “dental.”
Li added, “We want to bring the Chinese people together with the people of the United States.”
The first Chinese patients were taken in the first day of operations.
The first surgery was a three-hour operation on a woman, according to Shapiere, who said she had to have stitches in her throat and a blood transfusion to get her to a hospital in Beijing.
She said the hospital had no anesthesia or other medications to help her, and she said she was told she could only expect about six hours of recovery.
The office opened the next day and has since seen two more patients.
“I feel like we’ve had some wonderful patients,” Shapio said.
The practice has also seen some challenges.
ShapIRO said he and his colleagues at Shapira, who are American, had a few problems during the opening, including the fact that the Chinese dentists were not able to provide an English-speaking interpreter to the American staff.
He said he is not sure how the staffs communication will work in China, which has a long history of using Chinese characters.
“When we get to the offices, I think they’ll understand what I’m saying,” Shaper said.
A spokesperson for the Health Sciences Hospital said that it was not available to comment.
Shaper was not the only person who was impressed by the new office.
“The Chinese dentistry here is exceptional,” Shapers daughter, Lillian, said after visiting the office.
She added, she was “very happy” to see the first Chinese patient.
The Office of the Surgeon General of China issued a statement saying it was pleased with the new clinic and “hopeful that the practice will continue to be an important source of Chinese-American medical knowledge and services.”
The Office for Foreign Investment in the United State (OFIS) said it is looking into whether the new dental clinic can attract Chinese patients.
The US Chamber of Commerce and the American Dental Association have also been working on a similar program.
The dentists say the new dentistry is the first in the state of China to offer dental care to patients in the US, and it is a first in a long line of American dentists to come to China.