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Dr. Etsuro Watanabe has been officially recognized as the oldest male dentist by Guinness World Records, at the remarkable age of 99 years and 133 days as of May 15, 2024. Born on October 31, 1924, in Oshino Village, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, Dr. Watanabe’s dedication to dentistry spans over eight decades, starting from his teenage years.

Early Years and Career Beginnings

At 15, Dr. Watanabe moved to Tokyo to apprentice at a dental practice, balancing his apprenticeship with night school. His career was briefly interrupted in 1944 when he was called up for military service during World War II, serving as a combat medic in China. Returning to Japan after the war, he began working as a dental technician, honing his skills further.

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

Journey to Becoming a Dentist

In 1947, Dr. Watanabe enrolled in dental college and successfully passed the national dentist exam four years later. By 1953, he had opened the first and only dental practice in his hometown of Oshino, ensuring that the local community had access to dental care. Over the years, his practice flourished, and he became an integral part of the village.

Dedication to Dentistry

Despite his advancing age, Dr. Watanabe’s commitment to his patients remained unwavering. After turning 92, he reduced his working hours to mornings only but continued to see patients. “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,” he told Guinness World Records.

Etsuro Watanabe (left) with his family

Life Outside Dentistry

Dr. Watanabe leads a fulfilling life outside his dental practice. He enjoys gardening, cultivating blueberries, beans, and tomatoes, and attributes his longevity to a healthy diet. He has a large family, including five daughters, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, who cherish his legacy and dedication.

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

Dr. Watanabe’s story is not only a testament to his resilience and passion but also a source of inspiration for the dental community and beyond. His lifelong commitment to his patients and community exemplifies the profound impact that dedicated healthcare professionals can have on their communities.

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Dr Rockson BDS, PgDM, DBM (Germany) & Awarded Content Marketeer of the year 2020 & Love telling story for brands.

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