We all know it because we all see it. A lovely bright smile is just a beautiful thing to see. It is friendly, it looks healthy, and it is the perfect thing to show when you first meet someone. It is usually the result of years of good brushing and excellent dental care. A lot of work has gone into such a smile. Today we talk to a local international who has dedicated his whole adult life to improving the dental care of others. Dr Euler Rocha is a Brazilian dentist who has lived and worked in Amsterdam for many years. Euler established his own practice, a short walk from Amsterdam’s famous Museumplein. It is a very international practice, and Euler works in English, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. The team is very international too. So for those who want to understand better how dentistry works in The Netherlands, we thought we’d do a Q+A with a very international dentist who has a popular dental centre in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a microcosm of the world. It is a proper world city. It is so international, with people from almost every country in the world living here, from Canada to Australia and from Chad to China. And everything in between. That also means that people grew up with many different health systems, different insurance systems and very different levels of care. The Dutch dental health system seems relatively straightforward, but some clarity is always helpful. Especially if you have children. So, let’s push on with this Q+A, which will be interesting for expats and internationals in Amsterdam. Thank you, Euler, for answering our questions.
q1. Is it correct that all dental services cost the same price? If so, what is the best way to choose a dentist?
The government sets de price of dental care in The Netherlands. Every year we receive an update. Every treatment “code” has a fixed price. What may differ is the approach of the dentist when choosing the treatment.
I prefer a dentist with whom I have great contact. A dentist with light hands is also important to me. Reading reviews is also a way to choose a dentist, but this choice is very personal. It can differ great from one person to another.
q2. For many expats, the health insurance offers are confusing. Should we choose one that is generous for dental cover?
This decision depends on the treatment needed. The best way to choose your policy provider is to be better informed about the treatments you need. Then pay a visit to your dentist and ask for a budget estimate. This should give you an idea about the kind of treatments and their prices. Based on this information, you may decide whether paying extra monthly is the best choice for your needs. The other option is to always be covered for the eventual inconvenience. That will be more expensive.
q3. For families, is ALL dental care for those under 18 free? How does it work?
Children under 18 years are covered by basic health insurance. The parents need to have at least basic dutch insurance. An exception to this rule is Orthodontic treatment, which is not covered by basic insurance. In this case, the parents need to include this extra coverage in their insurance in name of the children.
q4. In your dental practice, care is given in many different languages. Does dental care in the patient’s own language help to relax people?
Sure. Patients like to be able to express themselves in a language they are fluent in or their Mother Tongue. It is also essential to fully understand the explanation given by the dentist. Clear and relaxed communication is really important for the patient and the dentist. At Rocha, this is just one of the elements we really work on all the time.
q5. What other tips would you advise to expats regarding the Dutch dental health system?
In The Netherlands, all citizens need basic health insurance, but the additional options can cover some dental care.
If you think there will be some treatments for the coming year, then having the coverage can be handy or if you prefer, always to play safe with possible extra costs. To avoid expected surprises, it is ideal to have a check-up at the very least every six months. Prevention is the best cure and it is essential to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly.
Thank you Euler for the interesting insights which many local expats and internationals will find very useful.
Rocha Dental Practice website.
Address: Alexander Boersstraat 21, 1071 LA Amsterdam
Tel: 020 205 0415