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How much does it cost to go to the dentist in Denmark?

Denmark is known as an expensive country and dental care is not fully covered by the public health system. But it's possible to avoid both toothache and severe wallet pain.

How much does it cost to go to the dentist in Denmark?
File photo of dentistry in Denmark. Foreigners might be put off check-ups by perceived high prices but going to the dentist for a routine check is not necessarily costly. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Many foreign citizens living in Denmark put off dental care—with the sky-high cost of living, it’s not unreasonable to expect an eye-popping bill from a Danish dentist.

But routine preventative care—like a yearly exam and tooth cleaning—could set you back less here than in your home country. And fortunately, the prices for many common services are regulated by the government.

Dental care for children and young adults (under 21)

A trip to the dentist is free for kids with a Danish health card. By the age of 2, children in Denmark are automatically enrolled in the municipal dental program and appointments with dentists are scheduled routinely—some dentists’ office are even located inside elementary schools. All dental care—from cleanings to root canals—is covered by the national health until age 21.

Dental care for adults

After your 22nd birthday, you’ll foot about 65 percent of your bill at the dentist for basic services like cleaning and routine x-rays, while the national health will pick up the remaining 35-ish percent.

Dentists and the Danish Regions, which are responsible for the administration of healthcare services, have negotiated fixed prices for certain common services. This system is called the ‘special act’ and all but five dental practices in Denmark have agreed to participate, according to the Danish Dental Association.

The Danish Dental Association helped The Local compile a price table for the most common routine dental care services as of December 2022. 

Service Set price 
Tooth Cleaning 219 kroner 
Basic diagnostic exam — Check-up (18-25 years old)  102 kroner
Basic diagnostic exam — Check-up (26 years old and up)  175 kroner 
‘Bitewing’ x-rays  224 kroner 
X-rays  159 kroner 

However, some dental interventions don’t have standardized prices — according to the Dental Association, that’s to encourage competition between providers and ultimately save the public money. (the government health portal) offers a price comparison tool that allows you to see how much dentists in your area charge for services including fillings, crowns, and root canals. Note that anesthesia is often listed as an optional add-on for an additional fee. 

READ MORE: Rising prices force Danes to postpone dental appointments

Are braces free in Denmark?

Cosmetic braces aren’t covered by the public health system in Denmark, but orthodontics for medical reasons — like if your bite doesn’t align to the point you can’t chew — are covered for people under 21. 

What about discounts?

Additional subsidies are available for low-income families and people with disabilities — but be careful to check whether the terms of your residence permit allow you to receive public assistance. Even Danes who hope to sponsor a family reunification visa can be penalized, or have their application rejected, for receiving public assistance for dental care

Technically, dental practices that participate in the set prices programme aren’t supposed to offer discounts — but any Google search for dental services in Copenhagen turns up student discounts and new patient bundles (such as an exam, cleaning, and x-rays for a lower total price) that can mean considerable savings. While the dentist may ultimately be fined for offering discounts, there’s no risk to you as a customer for taking advantage of these deals. 

Additionally, dental students at the Copenhagen School of Dentistry (supervised by fully qualified dentists) perform many procedures from emergency dental services to braces and fillings and charge reduced fees. See their pricing guide, last updated in 2021, here

It’s also worth considering the private health insurance programme Sygesikring danmark (a private, not a national company, despite its name) which can offer reimbursements when you pay for dental and other medical-adjacent services. The company offers a number of different price brackets and has information in English here.

READ MORE: From 2014: Dane’s wife has to leave country over dentist bill

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Foraging Danes warned not to mistake wild garlic for poisonous lookalike

Wild garlic, also known as ramsons or cowleek, can be gathered when spring comes around in Denmark, but the country’s food safety agency says says care must be taken not to pick a poisonous imposter for the edible wild plant.

Foraging Danes warned not to mistake wild garlic for poisonous lookalike

The wild garlic (ramsløg in Danish) season, which lasts from March until June, is set to arrive with early spring in Denmark. It is not uncommon for people in the Nordic country to pick the plant in the wild and use it for cooking, for example as an alternative to regular garlic or onion.

Care should be taken not to confuse the plant with its poisonous doppelgänger, the lily-of-the-valley (liljekonval), the Danish Veterinary and Food Safety Administration (Fødevarstyrelsen) said in a statement.

An advice line operated by the food safety agency, Giftlinjen, regularly receives calls in springtime from members of the public concerned they have eaten the wrong wild plant.

The lily-of-the-valley can cause serious food poisoning and be life-threatening in the most severe cases, the Food Safety Administration said in the statement.

“It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and affect the heart rhythm and be life-threatening in the worst cases,” department manager Henrik Dammand of the Danish Veterinary and Food Safety Administration said .

“In other European countries, we have seen poisoning with lily-of-the-valley have fatal consequences,” he said.

The risk of confusing the two plants is higher early in the spring, before the more distinctive bell-shaped flowers blossom on the lily-of-the-valley.

Both plants have long, green leaves, the main feature which gives them similar appearances.

A good why to distinguish them is by smell, Dammand said.

While the wild garlic has a strong, garlic-like smell which gets stronger if the leaves are rubbed, the lily-of-the-valley is odourless.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about ticks in Denmark and how to avoid them