Dental care in the Netherlands is provided by university-level dentists that require registration in order to practice. They work at small or larger practices that often also employ assistants and dental hygienists.
You are expected to register with a dentist who will keep your records and invite you twice yearly for a regular dental check. You do not need a referral from your GP to visit a dentist.
Most but not all dentists will give local anesthetics if the treatment is possibly painful. Make sure to ask if you are worried about this.
There are also specialized dentists such as orthodontists, oral surgeons or periodontists, who specialize in gums. Usually you are referred to these specialists by your regular dentist.
Rates and insurance
Maximum rates for dental treatment are set by the Dutch Health Authority.
Dental care is not covered by Dutch Basic Health insurance. Dental care for children under 18 is fully covered, however, as is dental surgery for adults performed by a surgeon after a referral.
It is possible to take out Supplementary Insurance that partly covers dental healthcare.
Finding a dentist
Finding a dentist can be hard as many practices do not register new patients. Outside office hours there is always a dentist on duty.