Is Dental Care Free In Norway? All You Need To Know!

Norway has a great healthcare system with low costs for many different services. Hospital stays are completely free of charge, and you only play a small co-pay for visits to the doctor. But what’s the deal with dental care in Norway? Is dental care free in Norway, or do you need to pay for it out of your own pocket?

Dental care is not free in Norway, and it’s in fact one of the most expensive places in the world to get dental care. Anyone over the age of 25 pays the full expense for dental care, which could quickly cost tens of thousands of Norwegian kroner.

There are no subsidies for dental care at all (in contrast to most other healthcare services). However, there are a few exceptions that could potentially make the visit to the dentist completely free. So keep reading if you are planning on going to the dentist in Norway, and are curious about how much it costs to go to the dentist.

Dental care equipment

The article is designed to be used by both Norwegian residents as well as tourists who need dental care during their stay in Norway, and the cost is the same for both groups unless I specify something else.

How much dental care costs in Norway

Dental care can quickly become very expensive in Norway, and a regular consultations with simple x-ray pictures can easily cost around 1,500 NOK.

If you need a filling, expect between 1,500 and 2,000 Norwegian kroner per tooth.

More complex things like a root canal operation starts at 5,000 NOK, but can easily get to 10,000 NOK or more. Crowns are typically around 8,000 NOK each.

It’s important to keep in mind that most dentists in Norway are privately owned, and are free to choose their own prices. You might actually save a lot of money by checking around to find a cheaper dentist!

There are some public dentists, but these are prioritizing certain groups like children, so there will usually be a long wait to get an appointment at a public dentist.

All adults (except for some special cases that we will look at shortly) pay the same, both Norwegian citizens, EU citizens and tourists from around the world.

Norske sedler
Norwegian bank notes. Photo by Nils S. Aasheim/Norges Bank / CC BY-ND 2.0.

Groups that get free or cheaper dental care in Norway

There are certain groups that have the right to get reduced payment or even completely free dental care. It’s pretty rare to fit into one of these groups (unless you are a child), but it’s worth keeping in mind when you’re going to the dentist in Norway.

Note that this section is for members of Norway’s National Insurance Scheme only, so it pretty much applies for people who live in Norway. So tourists who belong in any of these groups do still not have the right to free or reduced pay.

Children get free dental care

Just like with regular healthcare, children get completely free dental care.

This runs until they become 18 years of age, and it’s actually common for dentists to invite their patients in for a full check up a few months before they turn 18.

This allows them to fix all small problems for free before the child turn 18 and have to begin paying for the treatment.

The dentists get reimbursed by the government for giving dental treatment to children, so they get paid the same as they would for a regular, adult patient.

Young adults get a reduced pay for dental treatment

Anyone between the age of 18 and 20 get a highly reduced dental bill.

The government will simply pay 75 % of the dental care bill, and you only have to pay 25 % for yourself.

Young adults between 20 and 25 get a 50 % bill reduction.

The same principle applies here; you pay half yourself and the government pays the other half. The dentist itself will inquire the government for the money, so you won’t even need to pocket out the difference and ask for a refund yourself.

This latest group of young adults between 20 and 25 historically used to have to pay the full amount, but this new change was implemented starting from 2023.

People with certain conditions might get free dental treatment

There are certain conditions that will give you the right to completely free dental care. Some of these are:

  • Drug users under the care of the municipality.
  • Anyone in care of a nursing home.
  • People with certain medical conditions related to the mouth and teeth.
  • Certain people living in permanent or long-term healthcare institutions.
  • Mentally challenged persons.
  • Tooth injuries from occupational injuries.
  • Tooth accidents from certain accidents.

The dentists (and the patients doctors) are well-versed in the rights of the patients, and they will be more than willing to answer your questions if you think you might fit into a category that have the right to free dental treatment.

Dental tourism is a thing in Norway

A little funfact about dental care cost in Norway is that it’s so expensive that many Norwegians travel to other countries to get their dental work done.

It is often cheaper for a Norwegian citizen to travel to a city in a country like Poland or Hungary to get their dental work done there, than to do it in Norway.

Dental tourism is very much a real thing, and can actually save you a lot of money if you need a lot of work done to your teeth.

Some political parties want free dental care for everyone in Norway

Some political parties on the left side of the political spectrum has opened the debate for giving everyone in Norway free health care, or reducing the pay to a small co-pay like you have at a regular doctor (which is around 250 NOK per visit).

The parties who want this change is Rødt (Red Party) and Sosialistisk Venstreparti / SV (Socialist Left Party). However, these are both small parties that are unable to influence Norwegian politics too much.

SV did manage to get the reduced pay for young adults during the national budget meeting of 2023, but we’re still a long way from getting free dental care for anyone in Norway.

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