Dental treatment abroad: Where is it worthwhile?

Dental treatment abroad: Where is it worthwhile?
Patrick Ott
Martina Martinez
Expert for insurance and finance
3. April 2023

A dental treatment abroad is becoming increasingly popular. This is because statutory health insurers only cover a fraction of the costs for many treatments. For members of the public health insurance system, this can mean a high personal contribution, especially for expensive dentures. For this reason, more and more patients are seeking dentists abroad. But where is it worthwhile to seek dental treatment at all, and does the health insurance company also contribute to the costs abroad?

Costs for dental treatment abroad: In these countries it is worthwhile

Especially in Eastern European countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, but also in Turkey, dental treatment abroad can be worthwhile. This is because wages are generally lower in these countries, which reduces the fee costs. In addition, laboratory and material costs are also lower, which can lead to savings of several thousand euros.

However, there are costs associated with dental treatment abroad that are not incurred by a local dentist. These include expenses for travel, accommodation and meals. And depending on the procedure, patients may have to stay abroad for several days to attend not only for the treatment itself, but also for pre- and post-treatment care. This can significantly increase the overall costs.

In addition, depending on the measure, several appointments may be necessary, with weeks or months between them. For example, in the case of an implant. This is because it must first heal for three to six months before the final denture can be fitted. As a result, a second visit may be necessary. Some dental practices offer a so-called all-round package.

This includes other services in addition to the dental procedures. For example, accommodation and transport to and from the practice. However, in any case, it should be noted that the costs must always be paid immediately. Often even in cash. This is because not all foreign dental practices offer payment by instalments or financing.

Cost example for dental treatment in Hungary

Dental clinic in Hungary with certification

Denture (implants with bone augmentation)5,450 Euro
Travel costs250 Euro
10 nights in a simple hotel with private bathroom870 Euro
Total costs6,570 Euro

For comparison: In Germany, a single implant including bone augmentation costs between 1,300 and 4,000 euros. Plus about 750 euros for the ceramic crown that is placed on top. For a full denture, you need a minimum of two implants and crowns. In Hungary, a single implant costs between 550 and 900 Euros.

Dentures (ceramic bridges on implants)6,400 Euro
Travel costs250 Euro
7 nights in a simple hotel with private bathroom870 Euro
Total costs7,520 Euro

For comparison: For the same treatment in Germany, the patient pays from 10,000 euros depending on the fee, material and laboratory costs.

In addition to the total costs, there are expenses for meals and public transportation.

Tip: Finding a reputable dentist abroad

Many doctors present their services and practices on the Internet. More important than pictures, however, are the qualifications of the doctor. An existing certification such as an ISO mark can be an aid to assessment. This indicates that the practice is regularly inspected. The same applies to materials.

The consumer advice center advises looking for a suitable dentist abroad through one's own health insurance company. Many health insurance companies have contracts with dentists who must meet certain standards.

These costs are covered by the health insurance

The statutory / public health insurance as well as private health insurance contributes to the costs of dental treatment abroad within the EU. The amount depends on the statutory standard of care or on your private health insurance contract. But in any case, you should have the treatment approved by your insurer in advance. For this purpose, the dentist prepares a treatment and cost plan, which is submitted to the health insurance company.

Dental work costs in EU
The public as well as private health insurance contributes to the costs of dental treatment abroad within the EU.

This not only has the advantage that patients know how much their co-payment will be before treatment begins. The dentist can also settle directly with the health insurance company. This means that patients do not have to pay in advance and only have to pay their own share to the dentist. If you have a private insurance, you settle the bill with the dentist and get a refund afterwards.

If the treatment is carried out without the approval of the health insurer, patients can still submit the invoice to their insurer. However, they must have the document translated at their own expense. But be careful: A prerequisite for the fixed permission for dentures is that the insured person has previously submitted a treatment and cost plan. And this must have been approved by the health insurer.

  • Within the EU, the health insurer covers the costs of outpatient dental treatment.
  • Inpatient treatment and dental prostheses must be approved by the health insurer in advance.

What does supplementary dental insurance pay?

Dental insurance is designed to close the gap in coverage provided by statutory health insurance. Depending on the tariff, it pays the co-payment in full or on a pro rata basis. In this way, supplementary dental insurance not only protects against high costs at the dentist. It also makes beautiful teeth affordable.

Many dental insurers offer coverage not only in Germany. They also provide coverage for treatment in other European countries or worldwide. However, as with health insurance, it is advisable to discuss the planned measure with the insurer beforehand. In this way, the insured not only receive a fixed cost commitment, provided that the treatment is covered. They also know how much the company will contribute.

Reimbursement example with dental insurance

Cost of dentures (ceramic bridges on implants in the posterior region)6,400 Euro
Fixed subsidy from the health insurance company600 Euro
Own contribution without dental insurance5,800 Euro
Cost sharing of supplementary dental insurance (90% for dentures)5,160 Euro
Own contribution with dental insurance640 Euro

Without supplementary dental insurance, the co-payment for the dental prosthesis is 5,800 euros. Due to the good benefits of dental insurance, the co-payment is reduced to 640 euros. In addition, expenses for travel, accommodation and meals are incurred during treatment abroad. The insured persons bear these costs in full themselves.

These insurers also provide benefits abroad

The following insurers and tariffs offer benefits for dental treatment abroad:

Barmenia Mehr Zahn 100Gothaer MediZ Duo90MüV ZahnGesund 85+
Denture with implants100% 90%85-90%
Professional tooth cleaningnone100%85-100%
Dental fillingsnone100%85-100%
Root canal treatmentnone100%85-100%
Premium at age 3522.50 Euro25.90 Euro17.90 Euro

Conclusion: Supplementary dental insurance is worthwhile for treatment at home and abroad

Good supplementary dental insurance not only provides coverage in Germany. They also provide coverage for dental procedures abroad. But regardless of this, it is always worthwhile to take out insurance to reduce the amount you have to pay at the dentist. Both in Germany and abroad.

Gothaer, Münchener Verein and Barmenia offer tariffs with good benefits for dentures in Germany and abroad. Nevertheless, it is important to tailor the tariff to your individual needs. Our experts will help you find the right tariff for your needs.

Benefit from our many years of experience. Please don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.

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