Dental Insurance in Germany
- You can afford beautiful and healthy teeth without high financial burdens.
- Coverage of treatments, dental care, dentures, and orthodontics in accordance with current medical standards. You can take advantage of all the benefits of private insurance.
- Even for expensive dentures and cost-intensive dental treatments, you only must pay a small deductible. Depending on the tariff, full dental coverage is also possible.
- Many tariffs are available without a waiting period.
- The insurance providers Ottonova, Feather and Getsafe, offer the best dental insurance for expats in Germany.
What dental care does public health insurance cover?
Statutory health insurance in Germany works according to the principle of solidarity. All insured individuals receive the same benefits.
Insured individuals must pay the costs of dental treatments that do not meet the requirements of the so-called standard care. For dentures (implants, bridges, dental prosthesis), the personal contribution is particularly high due to very tight assumption limits of the insurance fund.
Dental costs and dentures — benefits provided by public health insurance
People with public health insurance have the same entitlement to insurance benefits for treatment and dentures. Certain dental services are not reimbursable.
In the case of treatment, 100% of the costs are covered if it is an approved insurance benefit. For dentures, the subsidy from the insurance fund is:
- 60% without bonus
- 70% if patients have kept a bonus booklet for five years, have their teeth checked once a year by a dentist and have the examination certified by a stamp
- 75% if the annual dental check-ups can be documented without gaps for ten years.
The benchmark for dental coverage is the standard benefit
These allowances for dental prosthesis and other dentures seem sufficient or even comfortable. However, the standard benefit is the benchmark for the subsidy. Legislation defines the standard benefits provided as sufficient, appropriate, and economical care. No provision is made for extras.
To put it clearly: Public insurance only covers the cheapest option for dentures. The same applies to crowns or dental fillings — funded are only basic fillings, high-quality fillings must be paid for privately.
Qualitative, functional, and aesthetic compromises in dental services
This policy regarding treatment cost also means that patients without additional insurance must make qualitative, functional, and aesthetic compromises or pay high additional costs.
In practice, standard care looks like this, for example:
- Depending on the bonus status, the insurance provider covers 60 to 75% of the costs for a bridge made of a simple metal alloy, which costs around €800 without a subsidy. The insurance subsidy for this is €460 without a bonus. However, high-quality ceramic bridges, which are now standard at dentists, cost around €1,500.
- If the insured person opts for an implant instead, the insurance fund would pay the same amount as for a simple bridge — i.e., €460. However, the cost of the implant is around €3,000. Without additional dental insurance, the insured person’s own contribution would therefore be €2,540. If he had taken out supplemental dental insurance that covers 90% of the implant costs, he would only have to pay a co-payment of €300. Particularly problematic: an implant would also be medically the better solution, as it protects the tooth structure of neighboring teeth.
- Larger bridges to replace missing teeth or the veneering of crowns outside the frontal area are also not part of the standard treatment.
- Costs for root canal treatments are covered, if the tooth in question is “worth preserving” or the treatment helps to retain an intact denture. Otherwise, patients must either accept that tooth extraction or pay for the treatment themselves, what can cost more than €1,000.
Status of statutory dental services
- Reimbursement of costs only based on standard benefits, no reimbursement for higher quality treatment
- Often high co-payment, especially for dentures
- Professional cleaning only reimbursable if medically indicated
- Exclusion of certain services such as crown veneers in the lateral area or teeth whitening (bleaching).
What dental care does private health insurance cover?
Freelancers, the self-employed and employees with an income above the compulsory insurance threshold can take out private health insurance. The so-called compulsory insurance limit is currently an income of €66,600 per year or €5,550 per month.
The benefits of the private policies are agreed individually within the framework of the tariffs offered by the insurance companies. All benefits included in the insurance contract are reimbursed.
Dental care in private health insurance
Private policies cover the costs of advanced dental treatments, preventive check-ups, dentures, and orthodontic treatment. Depending on the tariff, a deductible can be agreed per year for dental services as well as for health services in other areas, and there are also — often significantly more expensive — policies with 100 percent dental coverage.
Private health insurance covers the following dental health services:
- Professional cleaning
- Sealing of dental fissures
- Instructions from the dentist on preventive oral hygiene
- Caries treatment/filling with modern materials that meet the current standard of dentistry
- Root canal treatment and additional services for precise diagnostics and therapy
Comprehensive coverage of the costs of dentures in accordance with modern standards:
- Dental crowns and inlay fillings
- Bridges, dental implants, dentures
Private health insurance usually only reimburses orthodontic therapy up to a certain age limit, often up to 21 years. For adults, on the other hand, reimbursement is only possible after accidents or serious illnesses.
Purely aesthetic services such as bleaching are also partially reimbursed.
Differences in benefits between statutory and private insurers
Privately insured individuals can take advantage of more extensive and higher quality services when visiting the dentist than those covered by statutory insurance. There are exceptions for basic tariffs, which are based on the scope of benefits provided by the public system. Private insurance covers the treatment costs according to current medical standards minus a contractually agreed deductible.
Treatment costs for privately insured individuals are billed individually according to the scale of fees for dentists.
What dental care does supplemental dental insurance cover?
Supplemental dental insurance is a private insurance that makes sense if you have public health insurance and would like high-quality dental services for the protection and treatment of your teeth without incurring a heavy financial burden.
The insurance covers all services provided by dentists and orthodontists that you can also make use of with private comprehensive health insurance. Good tariffs give you reliable comprehensive dental coverage.
However, you will only be reimbursed for dental care that is explicitly covered by the policy. For example: If your tariff does not cover dental cleanings, you will have to bear the costs yourself.
How does supplemental dental insurance work?
If you have taken out a private policy, the insurance will cover your dental costs to the extent agreed in the contract. High-quality insurance policies cover between 80% and 95% of treatment costs, depending on the tariff.
If you use the benefits of your private dental insurance in Germany, you will still receive the subsidy from your public health insurance provider for standard care. From your dentist, you will receive an invoice for any additional services, which you submit to the insurance company.
Reliable tooth protection — for children and adults
As with comprehensive private health insurance, there are no family tariffs or family discounts for dental care — the insurance must be taken out individually for each person.
If you want to insure several family members, it is important to choose individual rates that provide optimum dental cover for children and adults.
Insurances for children
50% of all children and young people between the ages of seven and 14 need braces to correct misaligned teeth. The costs for this amount to between €2,000 and €7,000. They are only covered by public health insurance in the case of serious misaligned teeth. Private insurances offer significantly more comprehensive and higher-quality benefits.
Prophylaxis and tooth preservation are also relevant issues for children. Dentures can be necessary after accidents, but also then, when permanent teeth do not grow for genetic reasons.
It is advisable to take a dental policy for children from the age of two to three. The insurance companies offer particularly favorable rates for children.
Insurances for adults
In practice, the cost of dentures plays a vital role in dental protection for adults — private insurances should therefore be particularly effective in this area. Nevertheless, when comparing different tariffs, you should also keep an eye on the insurance benefits for prophylaxis and tooth preservation. For example, the cost of a dental cleaning can be up to €100. Dental cleanings are usually conducted twice a year. Without additional insurance, you can expect to pay for two professional cleanings €200 per year. With additional insurance, however, you only pay a deductible of €10 to €15 for a single treatment.
Additional dental insurance in Germany — how do I find the right plan?
To find suitable rates, there is no way around a comparison of different offers. If necessary, expert advice from an independent insurance broker can also be useful for choosing the right insurance.
You should pay particular attention to certain criteria when comparing tariffs:
Choose tariffs with an optimum scope of benefits
High-quality policies cover between 80% and 95% of treatment costs, depending on the tariff. Some providers also insure 100% of your dental protection but are then correspondingly expensive.
Insurance benefits — preferably related to the private invoice amount
Dental insurance providers structure their contracts differently. Optimally, the policy insures the real invoice amount. With a tariff that includes the subsidy from the public health insurance funds, your private contribution will be higher.
Some dental insurance providers also differentiate between different treatment categories: The health insurance benefit is included in some treatments, while the calculation basis for other benefits are the actual private costs.
Tariffs without limits for annual reimbursement
You should choose a tariff without limits for annual reimbursement, as such limits can quickly exceed for larger treatments.
Tariffs without limits for dentures and material and laboratory costs
Some insurance policies stipulate a maximum number of implants — if you need more of these dental prostheses, you will have to pay the costs out of your pocket.
For comprehensive dental cover, you need insurance without benefit limits. When comparing different offers, you should pay particular attention to restrictions on dentures/implants and material and laboratory costs.
Further benefit limits
Further benefit limits can refer to costs for composite fillings or dental cleanings. As the costs for these dental treatments are affordable overall, such restrictions should not be the deciding factor in your choice of tariff.
Waiting periods and benefit scales
Dental insurance in Germany often includes waiting periods of up to eight months. However, there are also tariffs without waiting periods available.
However, in all tariffs, you must expect so-called benefit scales in the first four years of insurance. In the first year, the insurance only covers amounts of €800 or €1,000. In subsequent years, these limits increase gradually, until the full coverage of the policy is given.
After accidents during the insurance period apply no dental scales or waiting periods.
How much does dental insurance cost?
The cost of dental insurance in Germany depends on the following factors:
Conditions and scope of benefits of the tariff
There are sometimes major differences between the tariffs for private dental insurance in Germany, even if the scope of benefits is similar. You need a plan that offers you the best value for money. This can also mean choosing a more expensive plan if you value very extensive benefits or full reimbursement without deductible.
The entry price for also depends on your age. Later, the premium increases with age. However, there are also policies without age adjustment available.
Already impaired dental health
If there are restrictions to your dental health before you take out the insurance policy, risk surcharges and consequently a higher premium may be charged for the insurance. This is the case, for example, if you have already lost or replaced teeth or suffer from active periodontal disease. Some tariffs cannot be taken out with such pre-existing conditions.
Insurance costs for children, adults, and senior citizens
- You can insure children for as little as €1.50 per month in a policy with good benefits. However, the premium increases with the age of the child. For older teenagers, you will pay the same premium as for adults.
- Tariffs for adults with good dental health are available from €7.90 per month. Also for adults, the premium increases with age.
- Senior citizens must expect higher insurance costs, but it is still worth taking out a policy after their 70th birthday. For example, a 75-year-old can take out high-performance insurance for as little as around €24 per month.
Best dental insurance in Germany
You will find the best dental insurance in Germany by comparing different providers and tariffs. Due to the large variety of offers, expert advice can also be helpful.
Below we present dental policies from ottonova, Feather and Getsafe, which are particularly suitable for expats in Germany. All three companies are modern, digital, and very efficient providers. You can take out insurance online in just a few minutes. All insurance matters are managed quickly and easily by digital means.
ottonova is a fintech insurance provider that specializes in health insurance. In 2021, Stiftung Warentest awarded ottonova’s private dental insurance a top score of 0.5 in her prestigious consumer product test for the fifth time.
The ottonova policy is available in three tariffs:
Dental 70 — from €8.80 or €9.23 per month
- Professional dental cleaning: €70 or €80 per year
- Dentures (including inlays and implants): from 70 or 75% (40% for treatment by a private dentist without health insurance subsidy)
- Dental treatment including preventive care: up to 100% (70% for treatment by a private dentist)
- Functional therapeutic services (e.g., dental technology services, laser treatments, image diagnostics, splints): 70%
- No orthodontics for children
- No additional anesthesia services
- Dental scale: maximum total of €3,200 in the first four years of insurance.
Tooth 85 — from €9.81 or €11.12 per month
- Professional dental cleaning: up to €140 or €170 per year
- Dentures: 85% or 90% (55% for treatment by a private dentist)
- Dental treatment including preventive care: up to 100% (70% if treated by a private dentist)
- Functional therapeutic services: 85%
- Orthodontics for children: 85% to 100%
- No anesthesia services
- Dental scale: maximum total of €4,000 in the first four years of insurance.
Tooth 100 — from €15.42 or €15.86 per month
- Professional dental cleaning: up to €180 or €200 per year
- Dentures: 100% (70% for treatment by a private dentist)
- Dental treatment including preventive care: up to 100% (70% if treated by a private dentist)
- Functional therapeutic services: 100%
- Anesthesia services: 100%
- Orthodontics for children: 85 to 100% (70% for treatment by a private dentist)
- Dental scale: maximum total of €4,000 in the first four years of insurance.
- The dental scale amounts increase successively over four years.
Orthodontic treatments for adults and anesthesia services are not covered. Professional dental cleanings and sealants are reimbursed up to twice a year.
Reimbursement for dentures and fillings does not include public fund subsidies, but the subsidy is considered for root canal treatments and periodontal treatments.
There are no waiting periods or age restrictions.
Feather is a Berlin-based insurance fintech whose portfolio includes various insurance policies for private consumers.
Feather’s offers only one dental tariff, which includes:
- Professional dental cleaning: 100% (maximum €150 per year)
- Dental treatment including preventive care: 100%
- Dentures: 100%
- No age restrictions or waiting periods
- No information available on the reimbursement of orthodontics and functional analysis/functional therapy or on the dental scale
- The insurance extension Advanced Plus covers costs of up to €200 every two years.
The digital company Getsafe also offers insurances in various areas.
Getsafe currently also offers with the Basic plan only one dental insurance plan:
- Professional cleanings, caries diagnostics, sealants, and other preventive dental care: €80 per year
- Dental treatment, root canal treatment, periodontal therapy: 80% with a subsidy from a statutory health insurance fund, 70% without a standard benefit subsidy
- Dentures: 75% with a subsidy from a statutory health insurance fund, 45% without a standard benefit subsidy
- Functional therapeutic service: 75%
- No orthodontics
- No waiting period
- Dental scale: €800 in the first year and €1,600, €2,400, and €3,200 in the following three years.
How to apply for dental insurance?
You can apply for additional dental insurance either directly with the insurance company of your choice or via an insurance broker. In both cases, it is usually also possible to take out the policy online. If you would like the support of a broker, you should choose an independent insurance advisor who does not work on behalf of specific insurance companies.
With already limited dental health, you should use an insurance broker. He knows providers and tariffs where dental insurance can be taken out despite pre-existing conditions.
To apply, you will receive a standardized form from the insurance company online or in paper form. Here, you enter your personal details and answer questions about your dental health and any other pre-existing conditions that may affect it. You must answer these health questions completely and truthfully. If it later transpires that you have provided false or incomplete information, the insurance company can refuse to pay.
Conclusion – is dental insurance worth it?
Taking out additional private dental insurance in Germany is worthwhile for anyone with statutory health insurance who wants comprehensive dental cover and high-quality dental services in line with current medical standards.
Private dental insurance covers preventive dental care, tooth preservation, dentures, and orthodontics to an extent that cannot be provided by the standard care offered by public health insurance.
The deductible depends on the conditions of the dental insurance contract.
Frequently asked questions
No. Full private health insurance already includes all the benefits that additional dental insurance also offers.
In addition to your private dental insurance in Germany, you will receive a health insurance subsidy in the amount of the standard benefits for any treatment — such as dental cleanings, fillings, crowns, or implants — that can be reimbursed by the statutory health insurance funds.
In some cases, the insurance company reimburses all costs above the standard treatment, in others only the amount that remains after the health insurance subsidy.
It is worth taking out this insurance at any age. However, it is particularly important to take out supplementary dental insurance from middle age onwards, as this is when the issue of dentures becomes more relevant.
However, you should also consider taking out supplementary dental insurance for children. This provides cover for high-quality dental and orthodontic treatment for your children.
The following cannot be covered:
- Existing or ongoing treatments before the takeout of the contract
- In the first four years: Costs that exceed the limits of the dental scale
- Dental treatments during the waiting period.