Look after your family’s oral health with our look at dentists in Qatar, including public clinics, private treatment, and much more.
If you’re an expat looking to visit a dentist in Qatar, you’ll be pleased to know there are a number of public and private options for your oral health. However, if you’re a recent arrival in Qatar, knowing where to find the right dental care for you and your family can be daunting. Fear not. To ensure you don’t bite off more than you can chew, our look at dentists in Qatar covers the following topics:
- The Qatar healthcare system
- Dental care in Qatar
- Public dental healthcare in Qatar
- Private dental care in Qatar
- Dental insurance in Qatar
- Accessing dental care in Qatar
- Finding a dentist in Qatar
- Visiting a dentist in Qatar
- The cost of dental care in Qatar
- Children’s dental care in Qatar
- Emergency dental care in Qatar
- Useful resources
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The Qatar healthcare system
While living in Qatar, you have the option to use either the state-served public healthcare system or the private system.
While locals have access to free healthcare, expats will typically need to pay a fee for public healthcare services in Qatar. Thankfully, the services are highly developed and rank within the world’s best in terms of quality of care.
The public system is overseen by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the state services are provided by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). To access these public services you will need a health card, which you can apply for in-person at a health center or through Hukoomi online. As of 2022, the card costs QR100 and you will need to provide the following:
- passport/valid ID
- valid residence permit
- passport-size photographs
- proof of address (e.g., a recent utility bill)
- vaccination card (children only)
- ID of your sponsor (domestic staff only)
Once signed up for the public healthcare system in Qatar, you can access state-subsidized dental care from one of the public clinics.
Alternatively, many expats access dental treatment on the private system. This will typically mean you get an earlier appointment, although you will have to pay for it. Private treatment can be paid for directly or reimbursed through any private health insurance policy you may have.
Dental care in Qatar
Compared to some other countries in the Middle East where dental care is extremely affordable, prices in Qatar typically sit at the higher end of the scale. However, the quality of care is often ranked among the best in the world.
All dentists practicing in Qatar need to be registered with the Ministry of Public Health with stringent rules for practice, including a minimum of five years of undergraduate dental school and two years of post-graduate experience.
Public dental healthcare in Qatar
While state dental care for expats is not free, it is subsidized if you have a health card. The public dental clinics in Qatar focus on prevention, early detection, and treatment of all oral problems. It is advised to see your dentist twice a year for optimal health.
In Qatar, public dental services are operated by the government through either the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) or the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). You are free to choose between clinics operated by the two corporations. Clinics are modern and well-appointed, offering a wide range of dental care options.
PHCC dental clinics offer a range of general dental services to patients across all age groups through a hybrid system. This includes pre-booked appointments for general care and check-ups and walk-in appointments for urgent dental care.
More specialized services can be found at selected PHCC clinics and are available to all age groups. This includes treatment for problems requiring oral surgery, advanced periodontal issues, and dental treatment using laser technology.
At the Hamad Dental Center and across other HMC locations, patients can book services from routine dental procedures (exams, fillings, etc.) to more complex procedures, such as root canals and restorations. More advanced conditions and treatments may require a referral from a primary dentist.
Private dental care in Qatar
Due to the increasing international population, more and more private dental clinics are opening in Qatar. Many of these are staffed by global professionals, making it easier than ever to receive care from an English-speaking dentist. If you have private health insurance, you can expect treatments to be either partially or totally covered when you opt to visit one of these clinics, depending on your insurance provider and policy.
Even if you don’t have private health insurance, you can still visit a private dental clinic in Qatar. You will find that while the prices are typically higher than at public clinics, you can typically get an earlier appointment.
The range of services available at private clinics is generally comparable to those at public centers. However, as certain cosmetic procedures are not typically covered through the public system, you may wish to visit a private dental clinic in Qatar. This includes smile enhancement, whitening, and more.
Dental insurance in Qatar
As many expats in Qatar will still need to pay for dental treatment through the public sector, many choose to invest in private health insurance. Often, employers will subsidize or even fully cover private medical insurance for expat workers. Even local Qataris decide to go the private route in Qatar if they are looking for quicker treatment.
There are a number of health insurance providers operating in Qatar, including:
For more information on finding the right provider for you, read our article on getting health insurance in Qatar.
Accessing dental care in Qatar
To make an appointment at either a public or a private dental clinic in Qatar you can typically book online or via the telephone. For public dental centers, you will need to ensure that you have your health card with you when you attend your appointment.
If you are visiting a private clinic, it’s a good idea to attend with proof of ID, insurance card, and any referral letters you may need.
Before making an appointment at either a public or private dental clinic in Qatar, you may want to call ahead and get a quote for the services you are looking for. This will avoid any unexpected costs during your visit.
Finding a dentist in Qatar
It will be relatively easy to find a qualified dentist in Qatar thanks to the breadth and accessibility of the local healthcare system. You can find a list of registered professionals through the Council for Healthcare Practitioners.
Alternatively, it’s always a good idea to ask for recommendations from the local expat community. This could be through friends and coworkers in your new home or using online forums. Personal recommendations can be a great way to ensure you and your family get the care you need.
Finding an English-speaking dentist in Qatar
Due to the large number of expats arriving in Qatar, there are a large number of practices that offer services in English. These are concentrated in Doha. It is a good idea to find recommendations on online forums or from friends and neighbors.
Visiting a dentist in Qatar
Whether you opt for private or public dental care in Qatar, it’s best to make an appointment in advance. There are a number of clinics available, so you won’t have to wait long to be seen, especially if you’re based in the capital, Doha. If you are using the state healthcare system, be sure to take your healthcare card with you.
It’s also a good idea to take your ID with you when you go for your appointment. If you’re using the private system, contact your insurance provider to find out the payment situation, whether your bills will be covered or if you’ll need to seek reimbursement.
The cost of dental care in Qatar
The cost of visiting a dentist in Qatar will largely depend on what treatment you receive, and whether you use the public or private system.
If you opt to attend a public clinic then you will find the prices lower than most private clinics. The downside is that you may have to wait longer to get an appointment.
Private dental clinics set their own fee schedules with a great variety in pricing depending on the procedure. Average costs for popular treatments in the private system are:
- Checkup and X-Ray: QR200-300
- Filling: QR500-800
- Crowns: QR2500-3000
Low-cost dental care in Qatar
Prices for different procedures vary from clinic to clinic, so it’s a good idea to look around if you’re on a budget. Generally speaking, you’ll find cheaper care in the public system. Many expats also book in for dental work when they are visiting Dubai in the nearby United Arab Emirates, as the prices there are often more affordable.
Children’s dental care in Qatar
Thankfully, children’s healthcare services in Qatar are generally of high quality. Similar to adults, they can be seen at either public or private clinics across the region, with costs varying accordingly. You can apply for a health card for your child to access the state healthcare providers. Be aware that you will need to show their birth certificate along with their vaccination card.
A number of pediatric specialty clinics cater especially to children, staffed by dentists and nurses with experience working with younger patients.
Emergency dental care in Qatar
The emergency service number for ambulance, fire, or police in Qatar is 999, and response time is usually very quick. Depending on what type of treatment is required, public dental clinics may or may not subsidize the treatment.
Several private clinics offer 24-hour urgent care. Be sure to check if this is covered by your insurance provider or understand the pricing in full if you need to pay out of pocket.
Doha 24-hour clinics include:
- The Primary Health Care Corporation – homepage of the state healthcare provider
- The Hamad Medical Corporation – homepage of the state healthcare provider
- MoPH’s Healthcare Practitioner database – search for medical professionals in Qatar