Keep your teeth healthy when living in Russia by visiting a Russian dentist. Learn about costs, insurance, and accessing treatment.
Finding a dentist when you move abroad can be tricky. While the Russian healthcare system includes state and private provisions, care can be limited. As a result, most expats use some form of private dentistry, which offers more options. Furthermore, many dental clinics provide good quality services that can be covered with private health insurance, but these are not always cheap.
If you are looking for a Russian dentist, read on to find out all about:
- The healthcare system in Russia
- Dental care in Russia
- State dental care in Russia
- Private dental care in Russia
- Dental insurance in Russia
- Accessing Russian dentists
- Finding a Russian dentist
- Visiting a Russian dentist
- The cost of dental care in Russia
- Children’s dental care in Russia
- Emergency dental care in Russia
- Useful resources
The healthcare system in Russia
Russia has a dual healthcare system. It consists of free state medical care funded by national health insurance, and additional private provision that you can cover with a private insurance plan. Private Western medical facilities have become more prevalent in Russia in recent decades, including many dentists.
You typically need health insurance to access health services in Russia – either public insurance through your Russian employment or by purchasing a private policy. In addition, some expats can access services through reciprocal healthcare agreements with the Russian government.
The Russian Ministry of Health (министерство здравоохранения, Ministerstvo zdravookhraneniya) is responsible for all healthcare in Russia. However, much is devolved to federal regions – for example, Moscow and Saint Petersburg (links in Russian). Russia ranks 89th for healthcare on the 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index, among the lowest in Europe.
Dental care in Russia
There is a good standard of dental care in Russia. However, most of this is in the private sector. State-funded Russian dentists only provide basic services to the majority of the population. Private dental care supplements this, although most reputable dental clinics are in big cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
There are around 41,000 dentists in Russia, which works out at about 39.7 per 100,000. This is well below the EU average. In fact, only Poland has a lower rate among EU countries. In addition, approximately 90% of Russian dentists work in the private sector.
Because most dental services in Russia are privatized, and most of the Russian population doesn’t have private insurance, this has led to poor coverage among the adult population. According to a 2011 World Health Organization (WHO) report, only 6.1% of Russian adults received dental treatment compared to 44.9% of children. There were 239.5 million visits to Russian dentists in 2020, which works out to around 1.6 trips per person per year.
Dentists need to be fully qualified to practice in Russia. Most are members of one of the big professional dental bodies, such as the Professional Society of Dental Hygienists in Russia or the Dental Association of Russia (in Russian).
State dental care in Russia
State dental care in Russia is provided chiefly through Russian-speaking dental polyclinics. You can access free public dental treatment if you live in Russia and have compulsory public health insurance. However, state-funded treatments in Russia are limited for most adults. You can get regular checkups, extractions, and emergency treatment, but orthodontic treatments and implants are not covered.
Some state dentists in Russia also offer additional private treatments covered by private dental insurance. Alternatively, you can pay out of your own pocket. In addition, some groups of people can access a broader range of urgent treatments for free without insurance. These include children, older residents, and some low-income groups (such as unemployed and disabled people).
Private dental care in Russia
Most expats use private dental services in Russia. These are usually based in dental polyclinics and medical centers in major cities. Here, you can find world-leading specialists who speak various languages and perform advanced treatment with the latest technology. However, services are costly if you don’t have adequate dental insurance.
- Orthodontic care
- Prosthodontics including crowns, bridges, and false teeth
- Implantology and maxillofacial surgery
- Root canal therapy
- Periodontal therapy
- Cosmetic dentistry, for example whitening and bleaching
Dental insurance in Russia
All employees in Russia pay between 2–3% of their salary towards social security, including compulsory health insurance (OMI). On top of this, many foreign workers pay additional voluntary medical insurance (VHI) through occupational schemes, which often includes access to some dental care.
OMI covers a package of state-provided healthcare but only very basic dental care is included. Because of this, most expats in Russia either pay VHI or take out a private insurance policy to access a wider range of dental treatment. You can take out separate dental insurance or include it within a more comprehensive health insurance package with most providers.
Premiums depend on the extent of your coverage. For example, which treatments you include, whether you want to add other family members, and other factors such as personal health risks.
Accessing Russian dentists
You can access state dental care in Russia, whether you’re a national or an expat, as long as you have public health insurance. For this, you’ll usually need to be a Russian resident and work in the country. Russian employers typically sort out their employees’ health insurance. You will need to take your state healthcare card or proof of insurance coverage to dental appointments.
If you don’t have public health insurance or want to use a private Russian dentist, you’ll need to show proof of private dental insurance to claim reimbursement of costs. Many private dentists in Russia charge upfront, so you’ll typically have to pay and then recoup fees from your insurer.
You don’t necessarily need to register with a dentist. Most will take appointments from anyone that can show proof of either insurance coverage or ability to pay.
Finding a Russian dentist
You can choose your own dentist in Russia. If you need to look for one, you can do so through a number of online sites. These include:
- Department of Health websites. For example, Moscow and St Petersburg both provide directories of local polyclinics and medical facilities (in Russian).
- Directory sites such as DentalBy or the Russian Yellow Pages.
- Large individual provider sites for private dentists. For example, the European Medical Center allows you to perform a dentist search.
You can also check WhatClinic for details and reviews of Russian dentists.
Finding an expat or English-speaking dentist in Russia
As dental tourism in Russia has grown in recent years, so has the number of international and foreign-speaking dentists. You can look for recommendations on expat forums or contact your embassy or consulate in Russia. These often have lists of trusted medical facilities.
You can also check directory listings for Russia for details of expat-friendly medical professionals.
Popular dental clinics in Russia for expats include:
- European Medical Center
- International Medical Center
- American Medical Clinic
- American Dental Center
- French Dental Clinic
- German Dental Care
Visiting a Russian dentist
You can make an appointment to visit Russian dentists by phone or in person. Many of the private dental clinics now also accept online appointment bookings. The exact procedure varies between facilities. Some private providers allow you to choose a convenient time and date online. If it’s your first appointment, you may have to enroll online and turn up earlier for the session to complete some paperwork.
Waiting times for checkups and non-urgent treatments depend on appointment availability. This means it can be anything from a few hours to over a week. However, you can usually see a dentist reasonably quickly if you need urgent treatment.
It’s advisable to arrive around 10 minutes before your appointment. Bring your healthcare card with you if it’s a state dentist or proof of insurance coverage if it’s private. You will typically need to pay for a private session at reception, either when you arrive or before you leave, then claim reimbursement from your insurer, so make sure you have money with you!
The exact procedures vary from clinic to clinic, depending on what services you require. The clinic should provide you with information on what to expect before your first session.
The cost of dental care in Russia
State dental care in Russia is free, but it is limited to checkups and basic surgery. For most treatments, you’ll need to find a private dentist. Costs for dental treatment in Russia are cheaper than in the US and many European countries, so it has become a destination for dental tourism. However, prices vary significantly across providers.
You can cover most costs with a private dental insurance plan, although check for exclusions and payout limits so that you don’t end up out-of-pocket. Here’s a rough guide to Russian dentist fees:
- Checkups: 200–10,000 p. Some facilities offer free consultations.
- Fillings: 1,500–6,000 p.
- Extractions: 4,000–8,000 p.
- Root canal treatment: 5,000–30,000 p.
- Braces: 50,000–100,000 p.
- Implants: 18,000–165,000 p.
- Teeth whitening: 5,000–50,000 p.
You can check price lists on some websites. For example, the European Medical Center, the American Dental Clinic, and German Dental Care publish full price details. WhatClinic also has pricing information for some listed dentists. Expect to pay upfront and then claim reimbursement from your insurer with most private Russian dentists.
Children’s dental care in Russia
Dental care for children in Russia is free until the age of 18. This is accessed through the health insurance of the parent or guardian. However, as the quality and treatment range of state dental care in Russia can vary, many expats include their children on private dental insurance plans. This will usually mean paying higher annual premiums.
Most private dental clinics in Russia provide children’s services, or have pediatric dentists. You can also find Russian dentists specializing in children’s dentistry, such as Dental Fantasy in Moscow.
Children in Russia have higher dental take-up rates than adults, perhaps because services are free. However, figures are still well below European averages. According to a 2011 WHO report, under half of Russian children (44.9%) visit a dentist. Furthermore, according to the Russian Dental Association, 73% of children in Russia under 12 suffer tooth decay. This rises to 82% among 15-year-olds.
There have been initiatives to improve oral hygiene among Russian children, such as the Kids Smile Russia project, which began in 2016 and targets 7 to 18-year-olds. Some of the regional health department websites also have preventative information. For example, Moscow publishes oral hygiene recommendations for children and teenagers (in Russian).
Emergency dental care in Russia
Some dental clinics in Russia, especially Moscow, are open 24 hours. You can use these if you have a dental emergency, for example, a broken tooth, extreme toothache, or excessive gum bleeding. If you use a regular dentist, check with them to see what hours or emergency treatment they provide. Otherwise, you can check for emergency dentists in your area on DentalBy.
Some hospital emergency departments will also be able to help with dental emergencies. You can call 103 or 112 in severe cases where you need an ambulance or use Moscow’s Doctor 03 paid ambulance service (in Russian).
There are also a couple of emergency dental care numbers for Moscow:
- +7 (495) 628-30-38 (until 8pm)
- +7 (499) 264-49-65 (after 8pm)
- For children’s dental care +7 (499) 148-55-22
You can get emergency treatment in Russia even if you don’t have insurance. However, you will be billed for the treatment you receive. Those with public health insurance can usually get emergency dental treatment for free. You can also cover this through private insurance.
- Ministry of Health – Russian government ministry responsible for all healthcare in the country
- Moscow Department of Health – regional health authority for Moscow
- St Petersburg Department of Health – regional health authority for St Petersburg
- WhatClinic – list of dental clinics in Russia with ratings and some price information