Finding a dentist in Germany (2024)

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Discover everything you need to know about dentistry in Germany, including treatments costs, insurance, and how to find a dentist.

Finding a dentist in Germany (1)

Finding a dentist in Germany (2)

By Naomi Kaye Honova

Updated 15-5-2024

Fortunately for expats moving to Germany, the country boasts a high-quality healthcare system, which includes dentistry. In fact, it ranked in 20th place out of 89 countries in the CEOWORLD Magazine Health Care Index (2021).

Germany has a dual healthcare system that includes both public and private healthcare providers, and the type of health insurance you have will determine which services you can access. For example, state health insurance only covers routine dental care but not extensive treatments or private dentists, which can be expensive. As a result, many residents also choose to purchase private health insurance to cover these costs.

To help you navigate the dental care system in Germany, this article provides the following information:

  • The healthcare system in Germany
  • Dentistry in Germany
  • Accessing dental care in Germany
  • Public dental care in Germany
  • Private dental care in Germany
  • Dental insurance in Germany
  • Finding a dentist in Germany
    • Finding an English-speaking dentist in Germany
  • Visiting a dentist in Germany
  • The cost of dental care in Germany
    • Low-cost dental care in Germany
  • Children’s dentistry in Germany
  • Emergency dental care in Germany
    • Handy German dental vocabulary
  • Useful resources

Feather

Protect your smile with Feather dental insurance. Feather is an expat-friendly digital insurance partner in Germany, offering simple online sign up. Feather’s website, consultations, contracts, and claims are all in English, and their team is available for free advice. So whether you’re looking for health, liability, legal, or life insurance, visit Feather online today.

The healthcare system in Germany

The dual public-private structure of the German healthcare system is the oldest in Europe and dates back to the 1880s. It offers high-quality services, expert clinicians, and excellent patient care. However, residents must have public health insurance to access services.

Finding a dentist in Germany (4)

Fortunately, anyone living and working in Germany can sign up for public health insurance, which is known as Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (GKV). As you will have a choice of providers, it is a good idea to compare the schemes before deciding. Signing up for public health insurance involves a few steps:

  • Register at the local municipality (Einwohnermeldeamt) to get asocial security number(Sozialversicherungsnummer)
  • Pay national insurance contributions
  • Join one of many state insurance funds (Krankenkassen)

Once you have arranged public health insurance, you, your partner, and your children can access the public healthcare system. The state also provides public health insurance for students (academic or vocational), pensioners, and unemployed residents. However, many people choose to supplement this withprivate health insurance(Private Krankenversicherungor PKV) to cover the extra costs, such as extensive dental treatments.

Notably, citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland can access state healthcare by using theirEuropean Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EEA countries include Lichtenstein, Iceland, and Norway.

Dentistry in Germany

Germany has a high standard of dental care, and the country ranked secondin the 2020 Healthiest Teeth Index. A dental industry survey from 2019 also shows that 80% of Germans attend regular dental checkups and deem oral health essential. Another study from 2018 also showed that 41% of German residents visited their dentists twice that year, and 8% even went three times.

Finding a dentist in Germany (5)

HealthcareThe German healthcare systemRead more

In 2019, there were 98,604 registered dentists in Germany, of whom 72,589 were actively practicing. To practice, dentists must be accredited by the National Dental Association of Statutory Health Insurance (Kassenzahnärztliche Bundesvereinigung – KZBV) and meet strict criteria.

Dentists work in either private practices, communal dental clinics, or emergency dental services. Many are also specialists, such aspediatric dentistsororthodontists.

Interestingly, 25 September is the Day of Dental Health (Tag der Zahngesundheit). This is a public awareness campaign to promote oral health and educate the population about dentistry in Germany.

Accessing dental care in Germany

Residents who have a social security number, pay national contributions, and are registered with a public health insurance fund can access public health services, including state dentistry in Germany.

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However, it is important to be aware that while most German dentists accept public and private insurance, some independent practitioners only enroll private patients. In fact, around400 independent dental practices treat only privately insured patients in the country.

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HealthcareHealth insurance in GermanyRead more

Once you have chosen a dentist, you need to register with their clinic. You will need to complete an application and submit copies of the following:

  • Identity documents (passport or resident card)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Social security number
  • Dental records

Public dental care in Germany

As mentioned, public health insurance covers primary dental care in Germany, such as bi-annual checkups, basic fillings, and wisdom teeth extraction. It also includes many pediatric treatments, which you can read more about further down this article.

Finding a dentist in Germany (8)

Even though public health insurance covers routine dental care, you will still need to pay for treatments, such as:

  • Biannual cleaning: from €80
  • Crowns: from €150
  • Bridges: from €340
  • Adult braces: €1,800–2,500
  • Root canals: €200–1,000
  • Teeth bleaching: €30–70 per tooth

Because state health insurance doesn’t cover all dental procedures, many residents choose to purchase supplementary private health insurance.

Private dental care in Germany

In addition to providing routine dental services, independent practices in Germany also offer cosmetic treatments and specialized orthodontic and periodontic procedures. Fortunately, private health insurance covers nearly all dentistry costs, such as:

  • Dentist consultation: €150–300
  • Dental implants: from €1,800
  • Professional teeth cleaning: from €55
  • Teeth bleaching: from €300 per session
  • Veneers and inlays: €1,200–1,500
  • Bridges: €700–1,600
  • Ceramic crowns: from €600
  • Composite fillings: from €200
  • Tooth re-alignment/braces:
    • Metal: from €2,500
    • Invisible: from €3,500
  • Root canals: €450–1,200

Naturally, many people feel nervous about visiting the dentist. However, some experience severe anxiety or even dental phobia. As a result, private dentists might offer sedation or other relaxation techniques not always available in public dental clinics. Furthermore, independent dental services may include alternative practices such as aromatherapy treatments or ozone therapy.

You can usually pay for your dental treatment after your appointment or once the clinic sends you the bill. Notably, claim procedures may differ between insurance providers. They will either reimburse you or pay the clinic directly upon receipt of the invoice.

Dental insurance in Germany

Out-of-pocket dental costs can add up quickly, especially if you need extensive dental procedures, and this is where supplementary health insurance can be helpful. If you are publicly insured, you can purchase supplemental dental insurance through providers such as DA Direkt and Envivas. Some of these providers are associated with specific public health insurance schemes. For instance, Envivas is only for patients with Techniker Krankenkasse insurance.

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Fortunately, most private health insurance providersin Germany also offer supplementary dental insurance. Some of the leading health insurance companies in the country include:

Of course, private health insurance premiums will depend on your age, cover you need, and whether you include your family in your policy. Therefore, estimated monthly premiums can range from anywhere up to €100. You can compare quotes on Check24 or our own dedicated health insurance quotes page.

Finding a dentist in Germany

Thankfully, you can freely choose your dentist in Germany and easily change to another one if you are unhappy with their service. Some practices might not accept new clients if they are oversubscribed.

Finding a dentist in Germany (10)

To find a dentist in your area, you can use the federal and regional dental directories,KZBV ZahnarztsucheandBundeszahnarztekammer Zahnarztsuche. You can also compare clinics and book appointments with platforms like Jameda, Doctolib, WhatClinic, and Doctena.

Alternatively, you can search for independent dentists via the PZVD website by postal code.

Finding an English-speaking dentist in Germany

Fortunately, many medical professionals in Germany, including dentists, speak a high level of English. Furthermore, some clinics even specify if their practitioners speak additional languages (including English) on their websites. You can also use Zahnarzt: Arztsuche to search for local English-speaking dentists or ask for recommendations on online expat forums.

Visiting a dentist in Germany

Once you register with a dental clinic, you can book an appointment via phone or online. You should arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment and report to reception with your insurance card. After that, the waiting time is usually between 10 and 30 minutes. A hygienist will typically clean your teeth before you have your dental checkup. The whole appointment usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour.

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If you need follow-up work, you can book it directly at the reception. You will either pay for the treatment after your appointment or wait for the practice to send you a bill. You should also check with your insurance provider to determine how their claim procedure works.

The cost of dental care in Germany

As mentioned, dental care in Germany can be expensive, especially if you need to undergo extensive treatment. Your level of health insurance coverage will also determine how much you will need to pay out-of-pocket. Therefore, it is advisable to ask for a quote(Heil- und Kostenplan) and discuss it with your health insurance provider before going ahead with any specialized procedures. Note that your insurance policy may only partially cover these procedures.

Low-cost dental care in Germany

In Germany, residents qualify for free dental treatments if they receiveHartz IV(welfare) payments. This also covers costly procedures such asbridges and crowns. However, if you don’t receive welfare payments but qualify as a low earner, you can access dental care atreduced rates. Again, it is best to discuss your situation with your health insurance provider.

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In October 2020, the state also launched a dental savings initiative to encourage regular dental visits. It offers to cover 70% of your dental costs after five years and 75% after ten years if you maintain your bi-annual checkups.

Children’s dentistry in Germany

Children between the ages of three and six can access free dental screenings and basic cleanings in Germany. However, this only covers three consultations in total. Note that you will need to show your child’s health insurance card at each dental appointment.

Finding a dentist in Germany (13)

HealthcareChildren’s healthcare in GermanyRead more

From the age of six to 18, public insurance generally covers the following dental care procedures:

  • Bi-annual dental exams and fissure sealants (prevent cavities)
  • Dental fillings (up to the age of 15)
  • Teeth realignment or correction

Again, you should ask your insurance provider about additional coverage for specialized pediatric dental procedures before agreeing to them.

Emergency dental care in Germany

If you need emergency care during working hours, you should first contact your dentist. However, if they cannot help you, or if you need assistance outside of working hours, you can use the online emergency dentist directory, Zahnärztlicher Notdienst.

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Fortunately, public insurance will fully cover emergency dental procedures in Germany. Private patients, on the other hand, will receive a bill after their treatment, which they can claim back from their insurance provider.

Handy German dental vocabulary

If you’re still brushing up on your German skills, here are some useful dental-related phrases to learn:

  • Dentist –der Zahnarzt
  • Dental hygienist –die Zahnhygieniker
  • Teeth –die Zähne
  • Tooth –der Zahn
  • Gum –das Zahnfleisch
  • Root –die Wurzel
  • Ceramic crowns – die Zahnkrone
  • Composite filling – die Zahnfüllung/die Plombe
  • Braces – die Zahnspange
  • Mouth –der Mund
  • Tongue –die Zunge
  • Teeth cleaning/removal of tartar –Zahnsteinentfernung
  • Professional teeth cleaning – Professionelle Zahnreinigung (PZR)
  • Plaque –der Zahnbelag
  • Tooth extraction –die Zahnextraktion
  • Toothpaste –die Zahnpasta
  • Toothbrush –die Zahnbürste
  • Dental floss –die Zahnseide
  • German insurance –Krankenkasse
  • Cost estimate –Heil- und Kostenplan

Useful resources

  • KZBV – directory for public dentists in Germany
  • PZVD – directory for private dentists in Germany
  • Zahnärztlicher Notdienst – emergency dental directory
  • Eltern – tips for children’s first visit to the dentist
  • Zahnarzt-finder – allows you to search for a dentist using your postal code

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Finding a dentist in Germany (2024)

FAQs

Is it hard to get into dentistry in Germany? ›

Admission to a dentistry program in Germany is not easy. The country offers some of the best programs in the field of dentistry, and competition in these programs is extensive. However, the effort will not be in vain, as you will have the opportunity to study at some of the best universities in Europe and worldwide.

Is there a dentist shortage in Germany? ›

Overview of Dental Profession in Germany. Germany faces a severe shortage of physicians, dentists, nurses, and healthcare professionals overall.

Is dental treatment expensive in Germany? ›

Public health insurance covers amalgam and plastic tooth filling, but you pay for the ceramic tooth filling. Ceramic tooth filling costs around 550 € per tooth. Root canal treatment costs between 200 € and 1000 € per tooth. The public insurer covers the cost only if the tooth can be saved.

Does Germany have good dental care? ›

Highly-qualified dentists and good population coverage together mean that dental care in Germany ranks as one of the best in Europe.

Is German dental degree valid in USA? ›

If you are a foreign-educated dentist and wish to become licensed to practice in the United States, you should be aware that most states require a degree from a dental education program accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

Do dentists in Germany speak English? ›

Finding an English-speaking dentist in Germany

Fortunately, many medical professionals in Germany, including dentists, speak a high level of English.

What country has the least dental problems? ›

Teeth Around the World: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

With a DMFT (decayed, missing, or filled teeth) index score of 0.4, Danish citizens have pretty perfect teeth. Germany, Finland, Sweden, and the UK all have scores below 1.0, making them the five countries with the healthiest teeth.

Is going to the dentist free in Germany? ›

German public health insurance covers basic dental services like routine check-ups (every six months), fillings, and teeth cleaning (once a year). However, public health insurance typically covers up to 60% of the costs for more complex dental procedures.

Where is the best place to get dental treatment in Europe? ›

Among the top destinations most visited for dental care and implants are Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Croatia. Aside from the quality of the work, cost is a main reason why people go abroad for dental treatment.

Where does US rank in dental care? ›

Which countries rank the highest in dental health? The top 5 countries for dental care are Denmark, Germany, Finland, Sweden and the UK. You may be surprised to learn that the U.S comes in at number 9 for dental care!

How much does a single tooth implant cost in Germany? ›

The average cost of a single dental implant in Germany can range from €2,500 to €4,000, while a full mouth implant restoration can reach €20,000 or even more.

Which country in Europe has the cheapest dentistry? ›

Hungary has earned a reputation as the “Dental Capital of Europe.” Budapest, in particular, is a hotspot for dental tourists. The country boasts modern dental clinics, experienced dentists, and substantial cost savings. Dental implant procedures in Hungary can be up to 60% cheaper than in Western Europe.

How much does a dentist make a month in Germany? ›

Dentist Salaries in Germany

The estimated salary for a Dentist is €4,000 per month in the Germany area. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users.

Is dentistry competitive in Germany? ›

Quotas for Dentistry Programs in Germany

Although it depends on the popularity of the schools, admissions are quite difficult as there are very few foreign student quotas.

Is dentistry in demand in Germany? ›

As with other medical roles, dentists are in high demand in Germany.

Can foreign dentists work in Germany? ›

You must already have a state professional license (approbation) valid in Germany as a dentist or a professional permit. If your degree is not automatically recognized, you must prove the equivalence of your professional qualification as a specialist.

Which country is best for dental study? ›

Best countries to study dentistry

Europe is home to many of the most respected schools in the world, with top universities in the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and Switzerland. If Asia is your preferred destination, Hong Kong, Japan and China all offer well respected dentistry programs.

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