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Dental Treatment Cost

Written by
Janine El-Saghir
Germany offers excellent dental care. However, dental treatment according to current medical standards is also a relevant cost factor for patients, as statutory health insurance only covers standard services. You can compensate for high dental costs with private supplementary dental insurance.
At a glance...

Dental treatment cost in Germany: Essentials

  • It’s crucial to understand that statutory health insurance only covers dental treatment within the scope of standard care. This means that while the most economical solutions are paid for, some treatments, such as ceramic fillings, full veneers, inlays and overlays, crowns or bridges made of higher-quality alloys, and implants, are generally not covered by public insurance. From public insurance, you will only receive basic dental care.
  • According to current medical standards, patients must expect high additional costs for high-value treatments.
  • With statutory health insurance, you have the option to offset dental costs with private supplemental dental insurance. This can be done through reasonable tariffs that reimburse up to 95% of dental treatment costs. Alternatively, you can also choose a plan with comprehensive dental coverage, which provides a broader range of benefits. Understanding these options can help you make the best choice for your dental health and financial situation.
  • Many health insurance providers also offer private supplementary dental insurance. We recommend high-performance dental insurance policies from ottonova, Feather, and Getsafe. Particularly interesting for expats: all services from these providers are also available in English.

The health insurance system in Germany

Health care in Germany is based on two pillars: statutory and private health insurance. Around 90% of all residents are covered by statutory insurance.

Employees can only switch to private insurance if their annual income is at least €69,300 (status 2024). On the other hand, freelancers and the self-employed are free to decide whether they want to take out statutory or private insurance.

Statutory health insurance in Germany — cost-efficient standard care

Statutory insurance is based on the principle of solidarity. Those who earn less also have to pay lower contributions. The benefits provided by the public health insurance funds are identical for all insured people.

In principle, only standard care services are covered. They must be medically necessary and cost-effective. Dental treatment is subject to stringent financial limits. Patients must finance dental services that go beyond standard care out of their pocket.

Important

Private additional dental insurance is an option for all people with statutory insurance

People with public insurance can take out private supplemental dental insurance with a health insurance provider to cover most or all costs for dental care. Unlike private comprehensive insurance, the law does not impose any restrictions here.

Private health insurance — with a much broader range of benefits

The benefits you receive from private health insurance depend on your chosen tariff. Your insurance premiums are also tariff-dependent. Other factors influencing this are your age and state of health at the start of insurance. Young, healthy policyholders can expect particularly low premiums. Most health insurance providers offer deductibles for their tariffs, which also reduce the premiums for the insurance.

Private insurance offers a comprehensive range of benefits, often surpassing those of public insurance. This comprehensive coverage can instill confidence in your healthcare options, knowing that you are well-protected.

Dental care in public and private health insurance

There are significant differences between the level of dental care in public and private health insurance.

Public health insurance coverage

Public health insurance fully covers medically necessary treatment—but only if it is part of standard care. People with statutory insurance must pay for all other dental services themselves.

Dental costs are particularly critical for people with statutory insurance regarding dentures, which typically involve very high dental treatment costs. The standard subsidy from health insurance companies for dentures is 60%. Those with teeth examined at least once a year and complete documentation of these examinations in a bonus booklet can receive higher subsidies. After 5 years of uninterrupted documentation of dental check-ups, the subsidy amounts to 70%, and after 10 years, to 75%. For low-income people, higher subsidies of up to 100% of the benefits of standard care are possible due to hardship regulations.

In addition, the subsidies for dentures and all other dental treatments are defined by standard care. Public insurance only covers the most economical treatment option and delivers basic dental care.

Dental services excluded from public health insurance coverage

Some dental treatments are excluded from standard care and cannot be subsidized. These include:

  • Ceramic fillings
  • Full veneers made of ceramic or plastic
  • Inlays and overlays as an alternative to a conventional crown
  • Crowns or bridges made of higher-quality alloys, such as precious metals
  • Implants
  • Functional analyses for in-depth diagnostics

High costs for additional dental services

If you only use standard care, you must inevitably accept functional, qualitative, and aesthetic compromises in your dental care. Otherwise, you will be faced with high costs.

Here are a few examples:

  • Dental fillings: Public health insurance companies only reimburse plastic fillings, which cost €50-€70 for posterior teeth and €100-€250 for anterior teeth. In contrast, ceramic fillings (inlays) cost €350-€1,000 per tooth, and public health insurance does not cover the cost of these.
  • Bridges: The public health insurance subsidy for bridges made of a simple metal alloy is €460 without a bonus. High-quality ceramic bridges — today’s dental standard — can be subsidized in this amount but cost €1,500.
  • Implants: An implant for a single tooth costs up to €3,000. However, the health insurance company only pays €460 for a simple bridge. Your contribution would, therefore, be €2,450. With private insurance, which reimburses 90% of the cost of dentures, you would only have to pay €300 for the same service.
  • Root canal treatment: Root canal treatments cost more than €1,000 per tooth. They are only covered by statutory insurance if they can preserve an intact set of teeth or if the affected tooth is “worth preserving”.
  • Professional teeth cleaning: Professional cleaning costs between €80 and €200 and is only covered by statutory insurance if medically necessary.

Private health insurance dental coverage

With private additional dental insurance, you receive the same benefits for dental treatments as entirely privately insured patients. Private insurance covers all contractually agreed-upon dental and orthodontic treatment costs like any other private health insurance. In addition to plans with a deductible, comprehensive dental coverage is also available.

If you have statutory insurance, you will also receive public health insurance subsidies with private dental insurance. Your dentist bills you privately for additional services, and you submit this invoice to your private health insurance provider for reimbursement.

Important: Dental scales and waiting periods

Almost all insurers work with so-called dental scales in the first years of insurance. Treatment costs are only covered to a limited extent for 4 to a maximum of 7 years. These reimbursements increase annually until full insurance coverage is reached.

In private dental insurance in Germany, waiting periods of up to 8 months apply for new customers, but tariffs without waiting periods are becoming increasingly important.

After an accident, apply no dental scales or waiting periods.

High-performance private dental insurance in Germany

You can find the best private dental insurance by comparing providers and tariffs.

We recommend dental tariffs from digital insurers such as ottonova, Feather, and Getsafe. In addition to other insurance products, all three FinTech providers offer high-performance private dental insurance policies at affordable and transparent conditions. You can handle all insurance matters entirely online.

Particularly interesting for expats: These insurance companies offer their websites, mobile apps, and individual consultations in German and English.

There are no waiting periods or age limits for any of the tariffs.

ottonova dental insurance

Our editorial recommendation is the private dental insurance from ottonova. It has regularly received top marks in independent evaluations by the renowned Stiftung Warentest since 2019. ottonova offers 3 dental insurance plans.

ottonova Tooth 70 — from €8.80 monthly

  • Professional dental cleaning: €70 per year
  • Dental treatment: 100% (70% for private treatment)
  • Dentures: 70% (40% for private treatment)
  • Functional analysis and functional therapy: 70%
  • No orthodontics
  • No additional anesthesia benefits
  • Dental scale: maximum of €3,200 in the first 4 insurance years

ottonova Tooth 85 — from €11.12 monthly

  • Professional dental cleaning: up to €100 per cleaning, maximum €170 yearly
  • Dental treatment: 100% (70% for private treatment)
  • Dentures: 85% (55% for private treatment)
  • Functional analysis and functional therapy: 85%
  • Orthodontics for children: 100% (55% for private treatment), severity 3-5, up to €1,500 in 10 years
  • No orthodontics for adults
  • No additional anesthesia benefits
  • Dental scale: maximum of €4,000 in the first 4 insurance years

ottonova Tooth 100 — from €15.42 monthly

  • Professional dental cleaning: up to €90 per cleaning, maximum €180 yearly
  • Dental treatment: 100% (70% for private treatment)
  • Dentures: 100% (70% for private treatment)
  • Functional analysis and functional therapy: 100%
  • Orthodontics for children: 100% (70% for private treatment), severity 1-5, up to €2,000 in 10 years
  • Orthodontics for adults: 100% (70% for private treatment), after accidents or if public health insurance is liable to pay due to severe diseases
  • Additional anesthesia benefits: 100% (70% for private treatment), up to €300 per year
  • Dental scale: maximum of €5,000 in the first 4 insurance years

Feather dental insurance

Feather offers the dental tariffs Basic (starting with €10.90 monthly) and Advanced (starting with €28.55 monthly). They include:

  • Professional cleaning: Basic — €150 per year, Advanced — unlimited reimbursement
  • Dental treatments and preventive dental care: 100% (Basic: dental scale up to €150 each in the first 2 years)
  • Dentures: Basic — up to 60%, Advanced — freely selectable: 80%, 90%, or 100%
  • Orthodontics: until the age of 21, additionally to statutory insurance subsidies, up to €2,000, dental scale — 1st and 2nd year: each €150, 3rd year: €1,700)
  • Teeth whitening: €200 every 2 years, Advanced only

Getsafe dental insurance

Getsafe offers one dental insurance plan. The monthly premium starts at €9.38 monthly. Covered are:

  • Professional cleaning: maximum €80 per year
  • Dental and periodontal treatments: 100%
  • Dentures: 75%
  • Dental treatments by private dentists: fillings — 70%, dentures — 45%
  • No orthodontics
  • Dental scale in the first 4 insurance years

Conclusion

An additional private dental policy is essential for people with statutory insurance. It protects you against high costs for dental treatments not covered by public health insurance.

Private dental insurance provides access to high-quality and comprehensive dental treatments according to current medical standards without high financial burdens. Reasonable tariffs reimburse between 80% and 95% of the treatment costs. Cost-based functional, material-related, and aesthetic limitations do not play a role.

Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ

Insurance coverage depends on your chosen plan and the deductibles included for dental procedures and dentures. Your dentist will provide you with a cost estimate before each treatment.

Costs for treatments started before the start of the insurance, for treatments during the waiting period, and for expenses that exceed the dental scale in the first few years are not covered.

Some tariffs provide for maximum annual reimbursements, upper limits on the number of reimbursable dentures, or limits on material and laboratory costs. It would be best to avoid such tariffs, as they quickly lead to high additional costs you must pay yourself.

Yes, you will receive these subsidies per treatment in the amount prescribed by law. However, private insurers calculate these subsidies differently. The best tariff is one that covers the actual treatment costs. In tariffs that include the subsidies, your deductible will be higher. In some cases, insurers differentiate between individual treatment categories.

About the author
Janine El-Saghir Read more
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