Dutch Language Blog

Visiting the Dentist in the Netherlands Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Dutch Language, Dutch Vocabulary

For many of us, visiting the dentist or tandarts in any language or country might seem like an unbearable task. However, daunting this task might seem, it is important to schedule regular visits to avoid serious complications.

Photo by Hamza Butt found on Flickr.com

Basic words

Before you make your appointment, it is important to know what the words are in Dutch and how to best explain to the tandarts if you are having any problems.

tand- tooth
tanden- teeth
tandvlees- gums
pijn- pain
gaatje– cavity
vulling- filling
bloeden- to bleed
beugel- braces
boren- to drill

Afspraak maken

Your first appointment with the dentist will be to evaluate if and what needs to be done and over how many appointments. You might also have to make an appointment with the mondhygiëniste to schedule a thorough cleaning of your teeth and to teach you the best ways to care for your teeth with the right tandenborstel or toothbrush, mondwater or mouthwash, and how to best clean the spaces in between your teeth. The following video explains this last part in more detail.


Paying for the dentist will depend on the insurance you have taken in. Basic insurance in the Netherlands doesn’t cover dental care past the 18 years of age. What your dental add-on covers will depend on how much you want to pay per month. The website allesoverhetgebit.nl has some useful tips for choosing the right dental add-on as well as the following video.

When you visit the dentist, you will, for the most part, not have to pay anything at the moment. First, the tandartspraktijk and your insurance need to figure out what needs to be paid. After this, you will receive a bill if there is anything you might need to cover. I, for example, went to the dentist for a checkup and the dentist needed to take two x-rays. My insurance didn’t cover the full price of the x-ray so a few weeks later, I received a bill for a couple of euros to cover the remaining amount.

Regardless of what insurance add-on you pick, if any, you should check out the prices your dentist charges. Most dentists will use the rates of the Nederlandse Maatschappij tot bevordering der Tandheelkunde and you can check this via this website.

In Belgium, dental coverage works differently. Basic insurance does cover most of the dental costs if you have been working and paying health insurance for over a year. If you just started working, the percentage the insurance covers is lower. When you visit the dentist, you will have to pay everything up front and then send the invoice to your insurance who will then reimburse you. You can find out more via this website.

What has been your experience with dentists in the Netherlands or Belgium?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. Joseph T. Madawela:

    I am living in the U.S, but this helped a lot, I LEARNED some new words and learned about the proper way to floss

  2. Myrthe:

    Thanks for sharing this article, I think it clears up all the basics you need to know about Dutch dental care. I even got away with a few tips myself too! I personally read about dental care in the Netherlands here: http://www.dentalcareamsterdam.com, but thanks for spreading the word!