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How much does going to the dentist cost in Norway? 

A trip to the dentist can be painful in more ways than one, especially for your bank account, so how much will it set you back in Norway and how do you get an appointment?

How much does going to the dentist cost in Norway? 
Many dread a trip to the dentist. Photo by Yusuf Belek on Unsplash

Is dental work free in Norway?

Norway’s robust and comprehensive public healthcare system is accessible through the Norwegian National Health Insurance Scheme. Because it is so comprehensive, many make the assumption that all health issues, including dental problems, are covered by the scheme.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as, generally, dental care is not covered by the public healthcare system. Instead, you will have to go to a private practitioner should you have an issue with your teeth or if it’s time for a checkup. 

If you’d like to learn more about what is covered by the National Health Insurance, you can look at our guide on how the scheme works and common problems foreigners run into here.

How much does it cost?

The bad news is that, much like most other things in Norway, a trip to the dentists will set you back a fair amount, and unlike the Norwegian National Health Insurance Scheme, there is no exemption card, or frikort, after you have paid a certain amount. 

READ MORE: Seven things foreigners in Norway should know about the health system

On the bright side, dental treatment is free for children under 18, and if you are aged between 19 and 20, you will only need to stump up 25 percent of the total bill. 

In most cases, everyone over the age of 21 will be expected to pay the whole bill, apart from a few exceptions, which you can read about here

The cost of dentistry can be reimbursed or subsidised if you meet any of the 15 conditions that will entitle you to claim support from The Norwegian Health Economics Administration or Helfo.

Helfo is responsible for making payments from the National Insurance Scheme to healthcare providers and reimbursing individuals for vital healthcare services not covered by the insurance scheme. 

The list of conditions includes essential work, such as having an oral tumour removed, for example. You can take a look at the 15 conditions for which you claim help from Helfo here.

You can also apply to the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) for financial assistance relating to dental work.

How much you are eligible to receive from NAV will depend entirely on your situation. 

Below you can take a look at the rough cost of some common dental work in Norway. 

  • Examination/appointment- 600 kroner 
  • Examination/appointment with tartar removal and x rays- 1,000 kroner 
  • Small filling- 900 kroner 
  • Medium sized filling 1,400- kroner 
  • Large filling- 1,500 kroner 
  • Tooth surgically removed- 2,000 kroner 
  • Root canal filling 3,800 kroner
  • Crown- 7,000 kroner

How to book an appointment

Booking an appointment in Norway is as simple as contacting your nearest dentist. Before you book, you can typically check the price list of the dentist you will be visiting to get a rough idea of how much the visit could cost you too. 

The majority of dentists in Norway will speak good English. You can also visit an entirely English speaking dentist surgery, where all the staff will speak English, in the big cities such as Oslo if you haven’t quite gotten to grips with Norwegian yet. 

You can search for a dentist using this tool which will show you your nearest dentist in the town, city or county you live in. 

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The key vocab you need for a trip to the dentist in Norway

Between the price and potential pain, a trip to the dentist can be a daunting experience. To try and make things easier, we've compiled a guide of Norwegian phrases to help you through your appointment. 

The key vocab you need for a trip to the dentist in Norway

While most Norwegians are competent and confident English speakers, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Additionally, their vocabulary may not cover the full extent of medical and dental procedures – or they may naturally switch to talking to you in their native tongue when asking questions or providing information. 

Therefore, having some handy vocabulary in the bank can help you bridge any potential language gaps between you and your dentist. 

Most people heading to the tannlege (dentist) will be heading there for a routine checkup (en sjekk hos tannlegen). People are advised to have their tenner (teeth) checked out every six months. Although fear of the dentist may mean that many will put this off much longer. 

Once in the dentist’s seat, you may be asked, “kan du åpne munnen?” (can you open your mouth?). You may be given some munnvann (mouthwash) and told to spytt ut (spit it out). The dental assistant (tannlegeassistent) may take care of these steps while the dentist prepares for the rest of the examination. 

From there, it’s onto the appointment proper. The dentist will begin inspecting your teeth and your tannkjøtt (gums- literally meaning ‘teeth meat’) for signs of tannråte (tooth decay) and karies (tooth decay). Plaque will also be on the agenda, and the dentist may opt to fjerne plakk på tennene (remove the plaque). 

When taking a closer look at your teeth and gums or trying to remove plaque, the dentist or assistant may kindly ask you to snu hodet mot meg (turn your head to me). During this, your dentist may recommend you use dental floss (tanntråd) more often or replace your tannbørste (toothbrush). 

If you are lucky, that may signal the end of your appointment. However, if your teeth haven’t fared so well since your last visit to the dentist, then it may mean you need further treatment. A røntgen (x-ray) may be required to determine the extent of the treatment. 

In the event you do need some work done on your teeth, then there are a number of common treatments. The most common of these is fylling (quite intuitively meaning filling). While some will get off lightly with a filling, other patients will be required to have some more extensive (and painful) procedures done. 

Should you need more comprehensive work done to your teeth, you may be asked to lukk munnen (close your mouth) in preparation for the bad news. This is because the dentist will be speaking about the required treatment. 

Treatments range from having a crown (få en krone), trekke en tann (having a tooth removed) or the dreaded root canal treatment (rotfylling). If more extensive treatment is required, then it may be a good idea to ask for bedøvelse (anaesthetic). 

Unfortunately, Norway’s comprehensive and robust healthcare system doesn’t cover dental care. The exceptions to this are children, who get free dental care until turning 18. Meanwhile, younger adults only need to stump up 25 percent of the total work. Some conditions mean dental bills will be covered through the Helfo system.  

This means that you can expect a tannlegeregning (dentist bill) after any appointments or work done on your pearly whites. 

READ MORE: How much does going to the dentist cost in Norway?