Highly-qualified dentists and good population coverage together mean that dental care in Germany ranks as one of the best in Europe. Dentistry is semi-privatised in the German healthcare system, meaning that, depending on the type of health insurance you have, you may have to contribute a portion of the costs for dental treatment.
Dental care & Statutory health insurance
In an ongoing effort to cut costs, statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) has significantly cut the number of dental treatments included in its coverage. As a general rule, simple, medically-necessary treatments are fully covered, while more complicated or cosmetic dentistry must be covered partially or entirely by the patient. Statutory health insurance usually covers the following kinds of dental care:
- Dental check-ups every six months
- Teeth cleaning / scaling (Zahnsteinentfernung)
- Basic fillings
You also have the option to choose more expensive “upgrade” treatments and pay the difference. If you need more advanced treatment you may be sent to a doctor or a hospital, or be prescribed medication such as antibiotics. Before undertaking any significant dental work, it is wise to ask your dentist for a cost estimate (Heil- und Kostenplan). You should submit this to your insurance provider for their approval before you commence treatment.
Dental care & Private health insurance
If you have private health insurance (private Krankenverischerung), the level of reimbursement you can expect for dental care depends on your individual plan. It is possible to get 100% coverage for more major dental work, but you should always obtain approval from your insurer before commencing treatment to make sure you are indeed covered.
It is worth noting that many private insurers have an “exclusion period” for new policyholders, meaning that you cannot claim for any dental work undertaken within the first few months of taking out private health insurance. Check your individual policy for details.
Additional dental insurance (Zahnzusatzverischerung)
It is also possible to purchase additional dental cover insurance, to supplement both statutory and private health insurance plans. The price varies according to the level of treatments that are reimbursed. The following companies all offer additional dental insurance:
- HanseMerkur Versicherungsgruppe
- DFV - Deutsche Familienversicherung
- Gothaer Versicherungen
- BarmeniaDirekt Versicherungen
If you are in need of assistance outside of regular working hours, you can find an emergency dentist on the Zahnärztlicher Notdienst website.