Firstly, it must be said that dental care in The Netherlands is excellent. for the Dutch, it seems so clear and simple. Dental care for expats in Amsterdam can be confusing. Welcome to our information page about dental care and dentists in Amsterdam. It’s all about how to get it and what happens when you need specialist work done on your teeth. Since 2006 there is no distinction between private and public healthcare in the Netherlands. All practitioners are part of the public system, including dentists. Dentists working in general practice provide almost all dentistry in the Netherlands. A large proportion of the Dutch people have registered with dentists as should you.
Dental care for expats in Amsterdam
A 6 monthly check-up is the norm, and many places only do dental hygiene. Children join their parents’ checkups from the age of 2-3.
There is a national scale of maximum fees. Amounts are set each year by the government. Under the basic health care insurance package, all children up until their 18th birthday have insurance coverage. That is fantastic news for many expats. Americans for example, might fear dental costs for children as braces in the US cost a fortune.
All preventive and curative dental care and all orthodontic care for grown-ups (>18 years) can be additionally insured or paid for privately.
Quality of Dental Care in Amsterdam
The Individual Health Care Professions Act (BIG Act) happened for medical care and dentistry on December 1st 1997. Its purpose was to promote and monitor the quality of professional practice across all health care aspects and to protect the patient against inexpert and negligent treatment. Every dentist and dental hygienist has to have a BIG registration number of working in the field legally.
In 2007 the government created the Stichting Kwaliteits Register Tandartsen and KRT (Institute of the Quality Register for Dentists). Its objective was to create transparency in dental treatment and clinic practices, thereby contributing to patient safety.
Specialists are usually orthodontists and oral/maxillofacial surgeons. Patients may attend specialists directly but usually go via referral from their primary dentist. Specialists apply a different scale of fees from general practitioners. The government sets the amount each year.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons work mainly in hospitals and universities, while most orthodontists work in private practices.
Dentists with special interests
Some dentists in Amsterdam specialise in endodontics, periodontics pedodontics and implantology, although they are not classified as true specialists. Patients may attend dentists with special interests directly but usually, go via referral from their primary dentist.
Dental hygienists are para medicals with an independent status. Most are employees in dental practices, some work in hospitals and centres for paediatric dentistry and some have their own private practice.
Emergency and Trauma
According to the BIG Act, every individual dental practice has to have the arrangement to offer after-hours emergency services. For details, check the website of the practice, or telephone the practice and an answering machine will tell you who to contact in an emergency ( most messages are in Dutch).
Treatment after opening hours, in the evening and after midnight will have additional costs, but it is an emergency, so call.
Toothache and other discomforts can generally wait for the next day, but teeth loss and complicated fractures need treatment in the first 30-45 minutes after the accident. All dentists in Amsterdam have to offer immediate emergency care within 45 minutes of being notified of the problem. The first thing to remember with dental trauma is to deal with it as soon as possible and not wait. Dentists are waiting to help.
This information page is supported by Lassus dental centres Amsterdam