Moving to Germany or new in Germany? Check out our Support Page for all the resources you need!
Are you thinking about getting supplemental dental insurance in Germany? In this article, you will find all your need to know about dental insurance in Germany, including why and for whom it makes sense to get supplemental dental insurance. I will also share my personal experience with dental insurance in Germany, and the 3 best supplemental insurance providers for expats here.
A short comparison of the best dental insurance providers in Germany
If you don’t have much time, here are the highlights of the 3 best dental insurance providers in Germany:
Ottonova: 100% digital. English services. 3 different plans. 3 months waiting period. Super-fast reimbursement. Appointment booking service and finding an English-speaking doctor for you. From 8.73 Euros per month.
Feather: 100% digital. English services. Two different plans. No waiting period. Any time cancellable. From 9 Euros per month.
Keep on reading for more details about dental insurance in Germany. Scroll down for a detailed comparison table of the best dental insurance providers.
Dentists in Germany
Dentists in Germany are highly trained professionals and dental treatment follows very strict regulations. The good thing is that there is no shortage of dentists in Germany. Even though it is not guaranteed, many dentists in Germany can speak some English. I have been to many different dentists in Germany so far and almost all of them speak some English. Some even speak good English to me.
Dental coverage by public health insurance in Germany
If you have public health insurance in Germany, your coverage will also include dental treatment. Unfortunately, to cut costs, public health insurance companies have reduced dental coverage significantly. So, only very basic treatments will be fully covered by public health insurance. For example, basic fillings, dental check-ups, scaling, hygiene work, wisdom teeth removal are included.
For many other necessary treatments, you will have to pay partially by yourself. For example, professional dental cleaning, crowns, bridges, or root canal treatments. If you need any advanced dental treatments, it can cost you several hundred or even thousands of Euros as public health insurance will only cover your cost partially.
With public health insurance, you will go to your dentist and get your treatment. Then, you will have to pay for the amount that your public health insurance doesn’t cover.
That is the reason why many people who have public health insurance in Germany choose to buy supplemental dental insurance to get better coverage.
Note that your public health insurance may cover a higher percentage of your costs if you go for dental check-ups regularly. For example, if you go to the dentist for 10 years continuously for preventive care, your public health insurance may cover 75% of your costs. This is to encourage you to take care of yourself regularly and thus reduce the costs of potential treatments.
Dental coverage by private health insurance in Germany
The dental coverage of private health insurance depends on your individual plan. The dental coverage is usually much better than that of public health insurance and you may even get up to 100% coverage for major dental treatment.
Besides, with private health insurance, you can usually get a doctor’s appointment faster and also have better access to some specialists.
Note that you will have to pay for the treatment first by yourself, and then submit a claim to your private health insurance for reimbursement.
For more details, check out this article: Private vs Public Health Insurance: What is Better for Expats in Germany?
Unlike public health insurance, private health insurance usually has a waiting period for new policyholders. During this waiting period, the policyholders do not get full reimbursement for dental care. The length of the waiting period depends on the individual private insurance policy and can last for a few months.
With private health insurance, you do not need to buy supplemental dental insurance. It is because the dental coverage is usually already quite comprehensive. If you want even more coverage for dental care, you will need to ask your current private health insurance to upgrade to a better plan.
Supplemental dental insurance in Germany
Since public health insurance does not provide comprehensive dental coverage, many people choose to buy supplemental dental insurance to close the gap. This is called “Zahnzusatzversicherung” in German. Be aware that you can only buy supplemental dental insurance if you have public health insurance in Germany! If you have private health insurance, you should talk with your insurance company to upgrade your plan if you want better dental coverage.
Supplemental dental insurance in Germany usually provides comprehensive dental coverage. It can include professional dental cleanings and major dental work like implants, root canal treatments, tooth replacements, etc. Some policies may even include tooth whitening. The coverage depends on the insurance companies. You should read the contract carefully to understand exactly what is included or not.
With supplemental dental insurance, you will pay your dentist first and then submit your claim to your dental insurance for reimbursement.
The 3 best supplemental dental insurance providers in Germany
We have chosen the below as the 3 best supplemental insurance providers for expats in Germany. The below table can be moved sideways depending on your screen.
|Monthly premium starting from||8.73 Euros||9.31 Euros||9 Euros (basic plan) or 16 Euros (advanced plan)|
|Plans||Economy, business, or first class||One simple plan||Basic or advanced plan|
|Cancellation||Monthly cancellable after 2 years||Monthly cancellable after 2 years||Any time cancellable after 1 year|
|Waiting time||3 months except for preventive or accident treatments||Mostly 3 months besides some preventive and accident treatments||None|
|Annual reimbursement limit||800 Euros first year. Increase by 800 Euros every year. Unlimited after 48 months.||800 Euros first year. Increase by 800 Euros every year. Unlimited after 48 months.||
Basic plan: 150 Euros first year. 300 Euros second years. Unlimited after 2 years except for orthodontics.
Advanced plan: No limit except for orthodontics (same as basic plan) and tooth replacements (for the first 4 years).
|More Info||More Info||More Info|
Note that the data in the above table is accurate as of the date when this article is written and is subject to change any time in the future. Please check the providers’ websites directly for the latest information.
Ottonova is the best dental insurance for expats in Germany. It is inexpensive and provides comprehensive dental coverage. All its services are 100% digital and available in English.
- Ottonova helps to find an English-speaking doctor and can also book an appointment for you
- Website, app, contract, customer services – All in English
- No waiting time for preventive or accident treatments
- 100% digital services
- Super-fast reimbursement
- From 8.73 Euro per month
- Monthly cancellable after 2 years
Comprehensive dental coverage:
- 100% cover for dental treatment like checkups, fillings, periodontal, plastic fillings, and root canals
- 100% for dental prostheses if your public health insurance covers the costs partially
- Include 1 or 2 professional dental cleanings per year
- For implants such as crowns, dentures, and bridges, the cost is 80-100% covered
- The cost for orthodontics is 60-100% covered. (100% cost covered for patients under 21 years old)
Annual reimbursement limits:
The monthly premium depends on your age. Note that there is a yearly limit on the maximum reimbursement amount for the first 48 months. The limit starts with 800 Euros and increases by 800 Euros every year. This limit only applies to dental treatments like implants, onlays, inlays, etc. However, it does not apply if you need immediate dental treatment due to an accident. It also does not apply to regular dental treatments or professional cleanings.
Economy, business, or first class:
Ottonova offers three different plans depending on your needs. You can switch between these plans at any time. All plans have a waiting period of three months. But this waiting period does not apply to preventive or accident treatments.
Getsafe is another good choice for expats who are looking for dental insurance in Germany. You can sign up and manage everything online or via its app. It is easy to use and provides great coverage for a low price. You can get a 15 Euros discount by using the below link for sign up.
- Monthly cancellable after 2 years
- No waiting time for professional cleaning, caries diagnosis, fissure sealing, and accident treatment
- Reimbursement within 48 hours
- All services are available in English
- From 9.31 Euros per month
- Up to 100% reimbursement for treatment
- Up to 80 Euros a year for dental cleaning
- 100% cover for fillings, root canal, and periodontal treatment
Getsafe offers one simple plan and the monthly premium depends on your age. In general, the premium will increase every 5 years.
Getsafe has an annual reimbursement limit for the first 48 months of your insurance policy. In the first 12 months, you can reimburse only up to 800 Euros. But this limit will increase by 800 Euros every year and will become unlimited after 48 months. The limit does not apply if you need an accident treatment.
Besides some preventive and accident treatments, most services from Getsafe have a waiting period of three months.
Feather also offers dental insurance in Germany and it provides English services. It is digital, easy to use, and you can sign up in 5 minutes.
- From 9 Euros per month (basic plan) and 16 Euros a month (advanced plan)
- Services available in English
- Any time cancellable after 12 months
- No waiting time
- Up to 100% reimbursement for professional cleaning, composite fillings, root canal, periodontal treatments, mouthguards against teeth grinding, and certain orthodontic treatments
- 90% – 100% reimbursement for tooth replacement (advanced plan)
- Up to 200 Euros for teeth whitening every 2 years (advanced plan)
Basic vs advanced plan:
Feather offers two different plans (basic and advanced) depending on your needs. With the basic plan, there is an annual reimbursement limit of 150 Euros in the first year and 300 Euros in the second year. Starting the third year, there is no more limit except for orthodontics (2000 Euros limit per year)
The advanced plan covers also bridges, crowns, implants, inlays, onlays, dentures, other tooth replacement procedures, and even teeth whitening.
The advanced plan has an annual reimbursement limit in the first 4 years for tooth replacements. But there is no reimbursement limit for treatments included in the basic plan (except for orthodontics).
Who should buy supplemental dental insurance in Germany?
In general, I think everyone with public health insurance in Germany should consider buying supplemental dental insurance. In the following cases, it is even more important to have supplement dental insurance in Germany:
- You needed major dental treatment in the past in your home country. It means that there is a higher chance that you may need more treatment in Germany in the future.
- You expect tooth replacements or implants in the coming years. You can easily pay thousands of Euros for these treatments as your public health insurance will not cover a lot of costs for them.
- You want treatments of better quality. For example, using gold for tooth replacement, getting composite fillings instead of the basic ones, etc.
- Your lifestyle tends to give you bad teeth in the future years. For example, bad hygiene habits, smoking, etc.
- Your direct family members tend to have bad teeth. It means that there is a higher chance that you will need dental treatment in the future due to your genetics.
Why should you buy supplemental dental insurance in Germany?
You don’t want to use up your savings when you discover a dental problem. It can get VERY EXPENSIVE. From a few hundred to even thousands of Euros! Your public health insurance may only cover 30-60% of the costs, or sometimes not at all. On the other hand, supplemental dental insurance covers up to 100% of the costs.
You may want better treatment than what is covered by public health insurance. For example, if you want an implant instead of a bridge.
Buy it before your first problem to have it included in your coverage. Most dental insurance policies in Germany also have a waiting period. So, you don’t want to only start looking at supplemental dental insurance when you are expecting a treatment soon.
If you know some old people, you will understand how important it is to have good teeth. The health of your teeth gets worse over time. That is why the premium of supplement dental insurance increases with age. Get your dental insurance early is better than later.
Supplemental dental insurance in Germany is very affordable. You may even pay less than 10 Euros a month for good coverage. And it is easy to get. Considering that everyone is recommended to have at least one-time professional dental cleaning in a year (which can cost about 100 Euros), having supplemental dental insurance is definitely worth it.
This was what happened to me…
I was born with very good teeth. When I was young, I was used to people praising my teeth, how straight they are naturally. I have never had caries. Never one time in my life. I have also never had any dental treatment in the past in my hometown Hong Kong.
After I moved to Germany, people told me that I should get supplement dental insurance because the dental coverage of my TK public health insurance is bad. I never took the advice seriously. I mean, I was young and I have never had any dental issues. I don’t smoke. I have good hygiene habits and brush my teeth twice a day. None of my direct family members have dental issues neither. The worst thing that ever happened to me was to remove 4 of my wisdom teeth. And all the costs were covered by my TK public health insurance. So, I don’t see a reason why I should spend extra money on supplemental dental insurance.
Then, when I was 31, I noticed some gum bleeding when I brushed my teeth. I didn’t pay much attention to it since I had no pain or other symptoms. The bleeding lasted for a few months until I finally decided to visit a dentist and discovered that I had peritonitis. Being so young, I couldn’t believe why I got this. The conditions were actually pretty bad already that I had to do a surgery treatment.
Treatments are expensive with public health insurance
Without supplemental dental insurance, I was paying several hundred Euros for the treatment. My dentist told me that I had to do this treatment every two years. Besides, because of the peritonitis, I must go to professional dental cleaning more often than normal people. About once in 3-6 months. At my dentist, professional dental cleaning costs around 80 Euros each time. This was a lot of expenses added to my yearly budget!
And you know what was the worst thing? When I finally realized that I needed supplemental dental insurance, it was a bit too late because no insurance companies would include coverage for peritonitis treatments. I finally bought one that has decent coverage for professional dental cleaning.
Long story short…
Don’t make the same mistake as me! You need to get supplemental dental insurance when your teeth are still healthy, not after you discover a problem. The price of supplemental dental insurance is really affordable. The money you pay is totally worth it when you go for professional dental cleaning 1 or 2 times a year. (And you should anyway go for an annual cleaning at least!)
How much does dental treatment cost without supplemental insurance in Germany?
Dentists in Germany provide a high quality of services. However, dental treatment can be very expensive in Germany. That is why some people in Germany even travel to another country for cheaper dental treatments. For example, I have a Hungarian colleague in Germany. She often visits her dentist in Hungary when she travels back home because it is much cheaper there.
If you have public health insurance and are wondering about the cost of dental treatment in Germany, here are the estimates for some common dental treatment when you have no supplemental insurance:
- Plastic or composite filling: 100-300 Euros
- Professional dental cleaning: 50-120 Euros
- Crown:500-1000 Euros
- Root canal treatment: 300-1000 Euros
- Inlay: 500-1000 Euros
- Bridge: 800-1800 Euros
- Implant with ceramic crown: 2500-3500 Euros
As you can see, dental treatment in Germany can get quite pricy. That is why it is highly recommended to buy supplemental dental insurance to protect your savings.
What I also noticed is that prices vary a lot among different dentists. For example, one dentist charged me 70 Euros for professional dental cleaning, while another one charged me 105 Euros! So, it is worth it to shop around and compare prices.
How much does supplementary dental insurance cost in Germany?
Depending on the insurance company, the price of supplementary dental insurance can range from 8 Euros to 50 Euros per month. The price depends on your age, your current dental health, and the coverage your choose.
After you buy supplementary dental insurance, the premium can also increase with your age. Many dental insurance companies will let you know in advance how your premium will increase with your age to avoid a bad surprise in the future.
Sometimes, dental insurance companies can also increase their premium if they provide more benefits than the premium they receive. For example, if many new customers with affordable insurance plans submit a lot of claims at the same time.
Check the cost before your dental treatment
If you need significant dental work, make sure to ask your dentist for a detailed cost estimate before the treatment starts. This is called a “Heil- und Kostenplan”. In this estimate, you can see clearly all the procedures that will be carried out in the treatment and how much does each of them cost.
You will need to hand in this cost estimate to both your public health insurance and supplemental dental insurance to get their approval and know how much they will reimburse you. You can usually request this cost estimate to be done in English.
This cost estimate is very important because sometimes, insurance companies may not cover you if you do not provide this cost estimate in advance!
Sign-up process of supplemental dental insurance
When you sign up for supplemental dental insurance, you are required to answer some health questions regarding your teeth. If your teeth condition is too bad (e.g. many missing teeth), the insurance company may exclude certain coverage or even refuse to give you a contract.
Make sure you disclose everything when you sign up. Most of the time, your dental insurance application will give permission to the insurance company to ask your dentist for more details if needed. If you hide a pre-existing condition and your insurance company finds that out later, you will not be reimbursed for the costs of the treatment.
Since you violate the contract, your insurance company can also withdraw from the contract. You will not get any refund for the insurance premium that you have paid before. In extreme cases, you may even be asked to pay back money that you have already received from your insurance company.
Read also: Liability Insurance Germany – Expat Guide
What is not covered by supplemental dental insurance in Germany?
Like any other insurances in Germany, supplemental dental insurance will not cover costs for treatment that has already started before you purchase the insurance. Besides, treatment costs incurred during the waiting period will also be excluded. If you have a treatment that was already recommended by your dentist during an examination in the past, your insurance can also refuse to reimburse the costs.
Emergency dentists in Germany
In case you need a dentist during non-business hours, e.g. on the weekend or on a holiday, you can find an emergency dentist on the Zahnärztlicher Notdienst eV website. Just enter your location and you will find a list of emergency dentists close to your area.
Dental coverage for low-income earners
What if you earn too little that you can’t even afford to buy supplemental dental insurance? Luckily, there is something called “Härtefallregelung” in Germany. If you earn a monthly gross income lower than 1,316 Euros (in 2021), your dental cost can be 100% covered by your insurance. This threshold goes up to 1,809.5 Euros if you have one other dependent, and 329 Euros extra for every additional dependent.
Even if you earn a little bit more than this threshold, your insurance may still cover you more than the standard amount. To know if you are eligible and how much your insurance will cover you in this case, the best is to ask your insurance company. You will need to send a formal application to apply for this scheme.
Do you have supplemental dental insurance in Germany? How is your experience when visiting a dentist in Germany? Leave a comment below and share your experience!
Moving to Germany or new in Germany? Check out our Support Page for all the resources you need!