Dental care in the Netherlands
16th November 2011, 5 comments
The Dutch visit their dentist on a regular basis - approximately 85 percent of the population go once or twice a year. Consequently, most people’s teeth in the Netherlands are in pretty good shape.
Types of practices
Almost all dental practices in the Netherlands are private, there are no state practices. Most of them are modest under-takings comprising one dentist and an assistant. In the larger cities practices are larger and include several dentists, assistants, and dental hygienists; this allows the practice to diversify its services. Many of the Dutch practices are full and it can be difficult to find one able to take on new patients.
The government determines the rate for services rendered, which makes these rates, generally speaking, lower than in most wealthy countries. Anything a dentist might carry out is described in uniform (so-called UPT) codes that allow the insurance company to determine the related costs. All dentists working in the Netherlands must adhere to these codes.
However, From 1 January 2012, dentists will be able to regulate their prices rather than comply with set costs for checkups and procedures. Following this, insurance companies will be obliged to list online up to how much they reimburse per consultation or treatment and dentists will also be obliged to list their prices on their websites to allow clients to choose a dentist that balances the prices they can afford with the quality they seek. This governmental decision to liberalize dental services hasn't been well received by the Dutch who simply see that they could potentially end up paying more for dental services.
Dentistry is privatised in the Netherlands, meaning that you are responsible for paying for the related costs and not your insurance company. However, if you are covered by a Dutch basic health insurance policy, your insurance company will bear the costs of all dentistry for your children up to the age of 18 as well as dental surgery for all adults.
All other dental care (the majority of the care you receive!) can only be insured by taking out an additional insurance. This supplementary insurance can cover up to 100 percent of the cost. For the exact coverage, check the policy terms or contact your insurer. As of 1 January 2012, when dental care is liberalised, insurers will be obliged to list on their websties up to how much they reimburse for various consultations and procedures. This will help the public to calculate how much they will receive back for treatments, which will vary considerably per dentist, and may even stimulate them to change dental practice.
In Netherlands, you can find all regular dental specialist care. The best-known are dental surgeons, who are usually affiliated with a hospital, and orthodontists, who usually have a private practice. The Netherlands is also seeing a growing number of paradontologists (who specialise in gums), endodontologists (root canal specialists), implantologists and children’s dentists. You can only visit one of these specialists upon referral by a regular dentist.
Increasingly, Dutch dentists are employing the services of dental hygienists. Particularly in the larger cities you’ll find independent dental hygienist practices. You can visit these without a referral from your dentist.
Standards of dental care
All dentists in the Netherlands must comply by the rules set by the Dutch government on hygiene. Most dentists will give you a local anaesthetic before a painful treatment. Laughing gas is seldom used and, if so, only by a limited number of specialised dentists.
Finding a dentist
New practices with room to take on new patients often have a website. Make sure to compare services before you decide on one. Issues to take into consideration are: philosophy of the dentist/practice, opening hours, is there a dental hygienist, do they follow relevant new courses, what they specialise in, and does the staff speak English?
You can use this website to find a dentist in your region through entering your postcode: www.tandarts.nl/
In short, Dutch dentists follow a thorough training, make use of modern equipment and comply with official regulations. In other words, if the Netherlands turns out to be your new location, dental care should be the least of your worries.
Source: Thomas Rietrae runs an international dental clinic in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw neighbourhood. His practice is focused on expats and his clients include several employees of multinational businesses. For more information, visit: www.lassustandartsen.nl.
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5 comments on this article Add a comment
27th May 2013, 07:05:25 alec behrens posted:Interesting en useful read. If you are looking for an English (and several other Euopean languages) speaking dentist that works mostly with expats in Amsterdam, you might want to try www.dentistamsterdam.net
8th August 2013, 13:03:39 John posted:I am not conveinced by the quality of dental jobs in the Netherlands, over two years I had 3 meetings with 3 DIFFERENT dentists there and here is what happened :
1st meeting: Removal of a wisdom tooth (emergency appointment monday morning at 8, because the emergency dentist wouldn't take an appointment the weekend, even if I had no sleep for the two last days).
=> The dentist fergot a piece of the tooth in my jaw, I had to go to an extensive mouth surgery in Latvia two weeks later.
2nd appointment : Root canal treatment
On the 2nd appointment the dentist told me we would need a 3rd appointment, because she had time to finish the treatment but the final filling would take 10mn too long to finish on time for the next patient and filled it up with a temporary filling.
=> 2 months later the filling broke apart and I had to do the treatment for the other roots in my tooth.
A regular carie treatment, no emergency or anything else
3 months later my tooth broke apart while in vaccation, and I had to cancel them, turned out that it wasn't cleaned properly and due to the damage to the tooth, it had to be removed.
AVOID DENTISTS IN THE NETHERLANDS, prefer belgium or germany.
27th January 2014, 11:12:13 dental care treatment posted:This is very informative and it will be very useful for dental problems and I will suggest it to my friends.
4th February 2014, 23:42:54 barry posted:I second what John has posted. I visited a teaching hospital consultant in his private practise, in connection with a very small caries hole at the base of al lower molar. It was causing no pain,
11th September 2014, 12:23:44 Donna Joseph posted:I have visited 3 dentists in the last year in the province of Overijssel. The level of service and professionalism is scary. Can anyone highly recommend a dentist anywhere in Holland before I book a ticket to Canada?
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