Ten percent of NL residents avoid the dentist
About ten percent of Netherlands residents haven't been to the dentist for two or more years, according to research by the Patient Federation. Their reasons for avoiding oral care include fear of the dentist, high prices, or concern about getting Covid-19, De Telegraaf reports.
Oral care for adults was removed from the basic health insurance package in 2006. Since then, adults in the Netherlands either have to pay for dentist visits themselves or take out additional insurance. And that is a reason for many to avoid going.
According to the Patient Federation, that could have severe health consequences. Research by Radboudumc showed that dental diseases cost society about 3 billion euros per year. Postponing a visit to the dentist could increase that cost, as you may require more treatment the longer you wait.
The Patient Federation also asked dentists to be transparent about the costs of treatments so that patients aren't surprised by their bills. "People need to know what to expect," said Patient Federation director Dianda Veldman. "It can't be that difficult to make a reasonable estimate of the expected costs. After all, for many people, it is a lot of money."