Healthcare Services

Dentists in Italy

Discover everything you need to know about dentists in Italy, including how to make appointments, arrange insurance, and pay for treatments.

Dentist in Italy

By Chiara Caporale

Updated 16-3-2024

After moving to Italy, one of your first tasks is likely to be organizing your healthcare, including what to do about dental care. Although Italian residents receive free or affordable universal healthcare, only a small portion of the public health system includes dental services. Therefore, travelers and residents who need to access dentistry usually take our private insurance.

Read on to find out how to find a dentist in Italy and navigate the system with ease. This article covers the following:

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The Italian healthcare system

Italy has an excellent public healthcare system, which all Italian residents can access, known as the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN – in Italian), with their health card (Tessera Sanitaria – TS). This service provides free or economically accessible medical care across Italy’s 20 regions.

Italy also has a private healthcare system, which offers more comfort, a wider choice of providers, and shorter wait times at a cost. Dentists in Italy operate in the public system at a reduced fee or for free, but most Italians must seek private dental care.

Italian dental care

According to Qunomedical, Italy ranks first for healthiest teeth in Europe, thanks to its many dental facilities and providers. In fact, as of 2021, there are around 50,993 dentists in Italy. However, statistics for yearly dental care vary widely in Italy depending on income and level of education. In fact, 75.6% of Italians from high-income families (in Italian) have frequent dental visits, versus 57.2% of low-income families.

A girl in a dentist's chair having various dental instruments placed into her mouth by two dentists

Some dental care in Italy is accessible through the public system, but the SNN only covers around 5% of all dental care in Italy. Some low-income families and people with certain medical conditions (in Italian) can access public dentists in Italy for free or affordable prices. Most Italian residents use a private dentist, with a cost for a generic visit ranging from €30 to 60.

State dental care in Italy

Italian residents have access to dental care through the public healthcare system. Certain individuals may receive free dental care depending on age, health conditions, and economic status. In an emergency, dental care is also covered by the SNN.

The Italian government runs the LEA program (in Italian), which grants free or affordable access (in Italian) to dentists in Italy for under-15s, people with certain health conditions, and those on a low income. This program mostly focuses on prevention. Specifically, the Italian healthcare system offers free or affordable dental care to patients with the following health issues:

  • transplant patients
  • patients with immunodeficiency
  • patients with certain forms of heart disease
  • cancer patients and others receiving radiation and chemotherapy
  • patients with a severe bleeding disorder
A dentist looks down at her patient who is about to have a dental checkup

Those who cannot afford a dentist in Italy also receive care covered by the SNN if they are low-income. Some examples of treatments available publicly include preventative visits, extractions, fillings, root canals, and dental cleanings. Some appointments are free, while other patients may need to pay a small co-payment (known as a ticket) of around €30. Dentists in Italy recommend having checkups and teeth cleanings once or twice a year.

All citizens, including those who do not fall into the above categories, are guaranteed dental visits with a small co-payment or for free for early diagnosis, prevention, and emergency treatment (such as acute infections). Children under 14 also have free access to public dentists in Italy.

Costs of public dentists in Italy

Some dental visits in Italy are free, or patients need to pay around €30 for a ticket. Low-income patients and those with certain health conditions receive free dental care. The payment usually occurs directly at the appointment.

Private Italian dental care

Around 85% of Italians have a dentist, and of those dentists in Italy, 74.8% operate in private freelance clinics, 5.8% in larger private offices, and only 4.8% in public facilities. The public system carries out all necessary dental care, including cleanings, extractions, root canals, and more. Private dentists in Italy guarantee all essential services and dental care that is not covered publicly, such as aesthetic dentistry (such as braces and false teeth). Another major difference is the wait time, as private dentists in Italy often have more appointment availability compared to the public system. Dental checkups in the private system occur once or twice a year, but these are usually for patients with certain health conditions.

Costs of private dentists in Italy

Dental costs vary depending on the treatment, but an initial visit and dental cleaning with a private dentist in Italy costs more than one in a state facility. More complex dental care, such as a crown or implant, may cost hundreds of euros. You usually make payments at the same time as your appointment, but some dentists may even offer payment plans for expensive procedures.

Low-cost dental care in Italy

The private healthcare system can be expensive, but there are options in the public system for free or affordable care. There are also some low-cost dental clinics (in Italian) throughout Italy that offer dental care at a lower price than the private system. Some Italians also go abroad for dental care to Croatia or Hungary, where costs are lower than in Italy.

Children’s dental care in Italy

Dentistry forms an integral part of children’s healthcare. Children under 14 receive free dental care through the public healthcare system for dental checkups, tooth extractions, surgery, tartar removal, and more. Despite having free care, 70% of children between six and 14 do not attend annual dental checkups.

The Italian government regulates dental hygiene programs and services for children. To have regular checkups with a public dentist in Italy, children must register with the SNN and have a valid health card. Although the public system covers dental visits for children, many still choose to go privately as there are shorter wait times and private dentists offer more services (such as braces).

Emergency dental care in Italy

If you have an emergency and need to find a dentist in Italy quickly, there are many options. Usually, big cities have a hospital for dental emergencies, known as pronto soccorso dentistico. These public facilities treat patients for free or with a ticket fee of around €30.

Private dentists in Italy are also usually available within a few days. Websites such as MioDottore (in Italian) can help you find healthcare specialists urgently, including dentists all over Italy. Costs for private dental care in an emergency vary and can reach hundreds of euros. If you have dental insurance, part or all of your dental fees may be covered.

Italian dental insurance

The Italian healthcare system covers basic dental care for low-income families, people with certain health conditions, and children under 14. Italian residents may also receive dental care in the public system for a small fee. Private insurance can help you if you plan on using the private dental system.

Depending on what plan you choose and which family members you want to cover, you can expect to pay a few hundred euros to over a thousand for a policy. Private dental insurance is a great way to make sure you don’t have any unexpected costs if you end up needing a dentist while in Italy. Companies providing international health insurance include:

Accessing Italian dental care

Italian residents may access affordable dental care through public clinics or hospitals, and certain individuals receive free basic dental care. Anyone in Italy registered with the SNN gains access to the healthcare system, including dental care.

An empty dentist's chair in an empty dentist's office

Tourists may access the private system at a cost or public hospitals for emergencies. You will need your health card and some form of ID for an appointment with a public dentist, while for private options you can bring your health card. Tourists without a health card should bring their ID, and, in some circumstances, they can access urgent treatment with their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they have one.

Finding a dentist in Italy

If you are an Italian resident and need a dentist, there are many ways (in Italian) to find one, specifically:

On the private system, you can choose your own dentist, but if you find a dentist through your GP, they will refer you to a local public practitioner.

Finding an English-speaking dentist in Italy

It is possible to find an English-speaking dentist in Italy – you can always ask your GP for a recommendation if you are going through the public system. If you book a private dentist in Italy through a website, the clinic will usually mention if the dentist speaks English. Some websites, such as, allow you to book English-speaking medical professionals immediately.

Visiting an Italian dentist

You can usually make an appointment to visit a dentist in Italy over the phone, but private clinics often also offer online booking. Wait times in the public system vary throughout Italy, so you might wait a week or a few months, depending on availability. In the private system, you can often find an appointment much sooner, sometimes even within 24 hours.

A woman in a pink shirt, laughing on the phone, at a reception desk

If you have a dental emergency and need to go to the hospital, a dentist should see you as soon as possible. When you go to your appointment with a dentist in Italy, make sure you bring your health card and ID. Usually, dental clinics have someone who will ask for your information, answer any questions, and handle the payment if necessary.

Useful resources

For more information on finding dentists in Italy: