Dental care in the Netherlands

Dental care in the Netherlands

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In the Netherlands, dental care is provided by qualified dentists, all of whom are government-registered. The quality of care provided, compared to other countries, in general, is excellent.

The Dutch visit their dentist on a regular basis — approximately 85 percent of the population go once or twice a year. Expat dental care provider Lassus Tandartsen discusses dental care in the Netherlands and how the Dutch keep their teeth in pretty good shape.

Types of dental practices in the Netherlands

Almost all dental practices in the Netherlands are private, there are no state practices. Most of them are modest undertakings comprising one dentist (tandarts in Dutch) and an assistant. Practices are usually larger in major cities and include several dentists, assistants, and dental hygienists — allowing the practice to diversify its services. Most Dutch practices are full and it can sometimes be difficult to find one able to take on new patients.

Dutch dental care rates

The government, through De Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit (NZa), regulates the rates 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.

Technical costs between dental care providers, however, can vary and could significantly affect patients' decision to opt for a particular practice. Dentists are 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. As a guide, yearly dental check-ups in the Netherlands usually cost between EUR 20–45.

Is dental care covered by Dutch state insurance?

Dentistry is mostly privatised in the Netherlands, meaning that you are responsible for paying for the related costs and not your insurance company. It is rare to find state practices. If you are covered by a Dutch basic health insurance policy (basisverzekering), 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.

Private dental insurance

All other dental care, which makes up the majority of the care you receive, can only be insured by taking out an additional healthcare 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.

Insurers are obliged to list on their websites up to how much they reimburse for various consultations and procedures. This helps the public calculate how much they will receive back for treatments, which will vary considerably per dentist, and may even stimulate them to change between dental practices.

Specialist work

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, you’ll find independent dental hygienist practices in larger cities. 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:

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.

Thomas Rietrae / Lassus Tandartsen / Expatica 

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:


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6 Comments To This Article

  • hans posted:

    on 8th January 2015, 13:53:30 - Reply

    please visit Lassus dentist in Amsterdam. Very professional.
  • Donna Joseph posted:

    on 11th September 2014, 12:23:44 - Reply

    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?
  • barry posted:

    on 4th February 2014, 23:42:54 - Reply

    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,
  • dental care treatment posted:

    on 27th January 2014, 11:12:13 - Reply

    This is very informative and it will be very useful for dental problems and I will suggest it to my friends.
  • John posted:

    on 8th August 2013, 13:03:39 - Reply

    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.

    3rd experience:
    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.
  • alec behrens posted:

    on 27th May 2013, 07:05:25 - Reply

    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