7 Tips for Finding a Dentist in the Netherlands
As an expat, life is busy and constantly changing. Yet, amidst them all, it is essential not to overlook your dental health! Navigating a foreign healthcare system can be challenging. However, with the right choices, you’ll show off those pearly whites in no time. In this article, we’ve compiled seven valuable tips for finding the right dentist in the Netherlands. Ready to get your teeth into our list? Read on!
1. Understand the Dutch Healthcare System & Health Insurance
Before diving into your search for a dentist in the Netherlands, you must understand the Dutch healthcare system. This is especially true for dental care.
The Netherlands has a well-structured healthcare system with mandatory health insurance. This often includes dental coverage, but some treatments may cost extra. Ensure you are familiar with your insurance plan, as it will determine which treatments are covered and which treatments are not.
Do make sure to compare health insurance providers, seeing as there are many factors to consider, such as monthly premium, coverage, family situation, own risk, and, of course, dental coverage. We’ve got a nifty tool for you to compare various health insurance providers.
Note: Don’t expect to receive antibiotics for standard procedures. In the Netherlands, medication is only prescribed when absolutely necessary, for instance, following surgery or more critical procedures. You don’t need a family doctor, huisarts, to get a dentist.
2. Research, Research, Research!
It’s best to start looking locally. After all, traveling too far for a dental appointment is inconvenient. Remember – the internet is your friend! Alongside Google searches or online maps, check out internet resources and directories. These are great for searching for dental clinics and professionals. Popular websites like Zorgkaart Nederland and Independer provide nationwide information, reviews, and ratings for dentists.
You’ll discover new dental clinics organically as you become more familiar with your city or town. Exploring pays off! In addition to hyper-local practices, dentists have multiple locations throughout the country or across cities. As always, check reviews online and review practice web pages to ensure they offer the required services.
3. Ask for Recommendations
As the saying goes – live like a local! Getting a local opinion or recommendation can help you integrate more readily. Another great source of insider information is expats who have lived in the Netherlands for some time. Long-term residents, especially those with children or young families, will often have valuable experiences to share.
This can be particularly useful if you need specialist care or have personal health requirements. Suppose you’re looking for family-friendly practices that have dentophobia or other conditions that make visiting the dentist a challenge. In that case, taking note of recommendations can help ease anxiety and stress. Personal referrals often lead to discovering hidden gems in the healthcare sector with personal comfort and security.
4. Check Credentials and Look for Specializations
Almost all dental practices in the Netherlands are private. This means that trust should always inform your decision, as quality throughout the private sector tends to be inconsistent. Once you have a list of potential dentists, research their credentials and specializations. Dental professionals in the Netherlands must register with the Beroepen in de Individuele Gezondheidszorg (BIG). If a dentist does not register with BIG, they can only work under a BIG-certified practitioner. Ensure that the dentist you choose holds the necessary licenses and certifications.
If you need specialist care, like orthodontists and periodontists, check whether this can be provided under one roof. You may need a referral if this is not the case. You might even hit the jackpot if you can find a practice offering multiple specializations, as the number of specialists is increasing nationwide! This means your care will always be of high quality, even if you are referred elsewhere.
5. Consider Language and Communication Barriers
If Dutch isn’t your first language or you’re still struggling with the basics, don’t worry. English is widely spoken throughout the Dutch medical system. However, it’s vital to consider that while many Dutch professionals speak English, it’s advisable to make sure you find one comfortable communicating in your language. A language barrier shouldn’t prevent you from effectively discussing your oral health. Keep in mind that language comes with cultural understanding. Certain dental clinics are well-versed in international processes and procedures and can speak intelligently to why things may be done differently in the Netherlands.
Like any medical procedure, proper communication with your dentist is essential. You must understand your treatment options and ensure you receive the right care. Some dental practices are more expat-focused than others, so if you want to replicate the level of service you’re used to before your move, they are often a good choice.
6. Evaluate Costs and Check Payment Options
Though dental costs are fixed annually in the Netherlands, still check the cost of services and ensure they’re right for your budget. Modern life is expensive, so checking all options is essential for numerous reasons.
Dental care tends to be partially covered by health insurance. However, specialist treatment may come with additional costs. Many dentists do offer payment plans and treatment options. This flexibility can help with budgeting and personal finances.
Note: Dentists in the Netherlands are obliged by law to provide treatment estimates above 250 Euros.
7. Schedule a Consultation and Practice Visit
A good first impression is critical when looking for the right dentist in the Netherlands, and the final tip to finding the right dentist in the Netherlands. Reading reviews and checking websites are all excellent ways to start your search. However, before making a final decision, you should visit the practice in person. Schedule a consultation with your chosen dentist. This way, you can meet them, check if the practice is right for you, and make sure it meets your expectations. Check for cleanliness and professionalism and discuss any concerns upfront. During the consultation, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the dentist’s experience, philosophy, and more. Also, discuss treatment approaches and any concerns you may have.
These seven tips will help streamline finding a dentist in the Netherlands and help you prioritize your oral health! Remember to do your research, seek recommendations, check credentials, consider language preferences, evaluate costs, and schedule a consultation. Your smile is worth the effort!
Speaking of recommendations, check out our favorite dental clinic in the Netherlands, Lassus Tandartsen. Lassus is well set up for expats and offers a broad range of specialist care across several locations nationwide. For service with a smile, reach out and discuss your dental needs with them. Happy smiling!