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Old 04.10.2009, 11:05
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Dentist costs.. a filling?

Hi,

My colleagues have told me dentists here cost a fortune!

So far I have only had a cleanup+checkup which cost around 100CHF each, which is reasonable enough in my eyes.

But apparently a simple filling will cost around 500CHF? At home in Ireland this is closer to 100CHF.

I have a feeling *maybe* I'll need a filling in the near future. Maybe its best to get it done in Ireland? Altho thats difficult as Id probably need two visits to the dentist, one checkup, and one actual work done.

Cheers for any thoguths.
Alan
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Old 04.10.2009, 11:12
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

The costs of dentists are very variable, depending on where you go (Each Kanton has a different price structure - I personally found the group practice in the main Zurich railway station. ok for fillings at least)

If you go home often anyway, maybe cheaper that way. (but what about emergencies?)

Here is one of many previous threads discussing where to go and and the pros and cons of doing it in or out of Swizerland.
Cost of dentists in Switzerland
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Old 04.10.2009, 11:28
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

Depends on the pricing structure of your dentist - they take each item of work, 5 mins drilling, mixing filling stuff, injections, etc, and multiply them against their chosen number on a price point scale ranging from (I think) 3.2-4.9. My dentist multiplies her work by 3.3, which is excellently cheap by Swiss standards.

My son had a run-of-the-mill molar filling recently, took about 20 mins, and cost 147 chfs.

They'll give you a quote first, so just ask. I've noticed that my dentist rounds up slightly with quotes, so the actual price is always a 'nice' surprise, but for standard work like a filling, they should be able to give you a pretty good idea.

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Old 04.10.2009, 12:10
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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Depends on the pricing structure of your dentist - they take each item of work, 5 mins drilling, mixing filling stuff, injections, etc, and multiply them against their chosen number on a price point scale ranging from (I think) 3.2-4.9. My dentist multiplies her work by 3.3, which is excellently cheap by Swiss standards.

My son had a run-of-the-mill molar filling recently, took about 20 mins, and cost 147 chfs.
Not just wrong, but not correct either. Each filling is billed as a whole unit, no "drilling, mixing filling stuff" and the like. There is no such specification in the Swiss dental tariff. Only things that are not mandatory parts of a certain job are billed separately, for instance injections.

Don't look at that multiplication thing. There are dentists who make themselves look particularly affordable by using a low multiplicator ("Taxpunktwert" in German), so you may think you save, say, 15 or 25 %. At the same time they may tell you you need a ceramic filling here and a crown there, which may cost you 500 % more.

147 CHF for 20 minutes sounds like a very fair price. It means 25 - 30 minutes of total work in the surgery (including cleaning, disinfecting everything that might have been touched, removing used instruments, making sure everything is cleaned and back in place (lamps, micromotors, turbines, ultrasonic scalers etc.). Depending on the structure of the practice and its location (center of a big city or rural settlement), the running cost per hour is in the range of 250 to 500 CHF per hour. So that dentist didn't make much money.

However, the 500 CHF mentioned by the OP are way out of the normal range for "a simple filling." Depending on the cavity and the material used, you have to expect 80 - 200 for a conventional filling (glass ionomer, composite resin). High end fillings such as computer assisted full ceramic milling techniques and the like may cost much more indeed, but that's not much different in other countries either, and of course those things cannot be called simple fillings. In the USA that kind of stuff is even tremendously more expensive than in Switzerland.
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Old 04.10.2009, 12:59
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

In August I lost half my tooth.

The final bill was about 350 chf, in Baden, for rebuilding half my tooth. This was not a crown, "just" a filling.

And the dentist was bloody good! The "wrong" dentist can make life difficult for a while.
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Old 04.10.2009, 13:17
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

I'm not sure how good your French is, but if your French is reasonable, why not pop over the border and have the work done? A full check-up, x-rays and two fillings cost me EUR109 in France. I don't even want to think what they'd have cost me in Switzerland.
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Old 04.10.2009, 13:18
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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Not just wrong, but not correct either. Each filling is billed as a whole unit, no "drilling, mixing filling stuff" and the like. There is no such specification in the Swiss dental tariff. Only things that are not mandatory parts of a certain job are billed separately, for instance injections.
Sorry, didn't realise - I didn't bother getting a quote for my son's filling, as I trust my dentist to do a good job for the best price. I was thinking of the quote she did me for my root canal treatment, which itemised each stage of the proces (cleaning out the roots, fitting the temp cap between stages, injections, etc) and just assumed that all dental processes were itemised like that.

Mine's a part-time, one-woman village dentist, so the prices are probably much cheaper than glossy surgeries in city centres.

kodokan
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Old 04.10.2009, 13:21
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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In August I lost half my tooth.

The final bill was about 350 chf, in Baden, for rebuilding half my tooth. This was not a crown, "just" a filling.

And the dentist was bloody good! The "wrong" dentist can make life difficult for a while.
Thanks Rangatiranui. That was not just an ordinary filling, but a build-up filling, possibly with screw posts to attach it to the remaining tooth material etc. The bill may have comprised an initial assessment, an x-ray picture, depending on the situation of the pulp (= nerve & Co.) possibly an insulating coping, adhesive techniques for enamel, dentin etc., said screws or suchlike and maybe a few more items. The average time to do such is around 40 minutes plus the additional time mentioned in my previous post. So 350 CHF seem to make perfect sense.
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Old 04.10.2009, 13:34
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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Sorry, didn't realise - I didn't bother getting a quote for my son's filling, as I trust my dentist to do a good job for the best price. I was thinking of the quote she did me for my root canal treatment, which itemised each stage of the proces (cleaning out the roots, fitting the temp cap between stages, injections, etc) and just assumed that all dental processes were itemised like that.
You are right. Of course those procedures are specified step by step becasue a root canal treatment can comprise one to five or even more sessions with all sorts of measures which may widely differ from one case to another, so it's just a reasonable thing to itemize the steps. Otherwise some people would have to pay way too much while in other cases the dentist would lose a lot of money.

The Swiss dental tariff currently lists about 40 different kinds of fillings inclusing build-ups. That allows a fairly accurate specification of a particular case. However, as I already said, all those measures that do not necessarily belong to a the filling procedure proper are billed separately, which, of course, makes a lot of sense too. You wouldn't like to be billed for six dentin screw posts if your filling didn't need any.
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Old 04.10.2009, 13:49
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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Sorry, didn't realise - I didn't bother getting a quote for my son's filling, as I trust my dentist to do a good job for the best price. I was thinking of the quote she did me for my root canal treatment, which itemised each stage of the proces (cleaning out the roots, fitting the temp cap between stages, injections, etc) and just assumed that all dental processes were itemised like that.

Mine's a part-time, one-woman village dentist, so the prices are probably much cheaper than glossy surgeries in city centres.

kodokan
Hi, any chance you remember the amount quoted for the complete root canal?
thanks,
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Old 04.10.2009, 13:56
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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Hi, any chance you remember the amount quoted for the complete root canal?
thanks,
Well, the final bill was around 1150 chfs - that was for a check-up, the root canal (over 2 visits, I think), and then a full hygiene clean afterwards. The quote was a bit higher, around 1400, obviously based on the 'worst case' scenario to avoid upsetting the customers with a final bill higher than the initial quote!

kodokan
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Old 04.10.2009, 13:59
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

I dont think she drilled any supports, but she did use 3 packets of porcelain, and took 45 minutes. It was an "emergency" appointment - ie on the following monday or tuesday, not 3 months in advance which is usual.

For things like dentists, what it costs is less important to me than if they do a very decent job.

This is not a place to save money by getting "someone cheaper"- your teeth should be with you for life.
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Old 04.10.2009, 14:26
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

In case anyone is interested, the official list of dental tariffs of the Swiss Dental Association can be viewed online: here are links to PDFs in French, German and Italian.

As Kodokan pointed out, what a dentist might charge per unit of service is not fixed. There is no set minimum, but for reference the social insurance rate is fixed at 3.10 CHF per unit and the maximum is set at 5.- CHF per unit (source). My dentist charges 3.20 CHF per unit, but obviously fancy-schmancy clinics will likely charge more.

The PDFs I've linked to above also give some insight into what various treatments might cost. As Captain Greybeard already mentioned, fillings are charged as a single item, although from looking at the files it's clear that the cost can still vary quite a bit depending on the size of the cavity, type of tooth, and type of filling (amalgam or composite). More complex procedures such as root canals are broken down into separate components, and with good reason: they can take between one and five visits to the dentist, depending on the extent of tooth damage and other complications.

And since it seems to be a popular subject of discussion in this thread, I had a root canal on a rear molar in Lausanne which required four visits to the dentist and lots of x-rays, total cost was about 850.- CHF. Considering each visit lasted more than an hour, and the dentist had to reopen and seal my tooth a total of three times, I think this was a deal. Similar to the experiences of other people on this thread, the original quote was much higher (around 1100.-), but my dentist charged me the minimum number of treatment units for each unit and with her rate of 3.20 CHF per unit, the final bill seemed quite reasonable.

Last year I needed a filling and also had a chip in a tooth that needed to be repaired. The filling cost about 180.- CHF, and my dentist filled in the chip for free! ((Although I'm guessing she did this because I've given her so much business over the past two years. )

Heather
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Old 04.10.2009, 15:02
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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And since it seems to be a popular subject of discussion in this thread, I had a root canal on a rear molar in Lausanne which required four visits to the dentist and lots of x-rays, total cost was about 850.- CHF. Considering each visit lasted more than an hour, and the dentist had to reopen and seal my tooth a total of three times, I think this was a deal.
That was not a deal. It was a steal.
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Old 04.10.2009, 15:04
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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In case anyone is interested, the official list of dental tariffs of the Swiss Dental Association can be viewed online: here are links to PDFs in French, German and Italian.
Those lists are just summaries of the most frequently used tariff items, but they give a fairly good overview.

Last edited by Captain Greybeard; 04.10.2009 at 18:25. Reason: Oops, typo
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Old 18.09.2010, 06:12
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

Hello,

friends here is the link of dentistry where you find every information related to this which can help many people

thanks!!

denture adhesive
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Old 18.09.2010, 09:06
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

Depending on your medical insurance it may cover CHF200 per year, so the odd trip to the dentist is more a less covered. We have three children and we have dentist insurance for them all, if they are under 7 they can apply for the insurance without a check up, it has saved us a fortune!
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Old 08.07.2020, 11:21
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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I dont think she drilled any supports, but she did use 3 packets of porcelain, and took 45 minutes. It was an "emergency" appointment - ie on the following monday or tuesday, not 3 months in advance which is usual.

For things like dentists, what it costs is less important to me than if they do a very decent job.

This is not a place to save money by getting "someone cheaper"- your teeth should be with you for life.
Thats exactly it.i went to german border,had to travel for 2-3 hours,didnt save any money and had an awful expirience...i will not give derails but if you go to other countries, dont stop close to the border.
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Old 08.07.2020, 14:06
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

Canton Vaud, 2 of my kids needed fillings just 2 weeks ago. . 7yo with pediatric dentist , bill to pay 688ch. 15yo 486ch. Good money. Luckily dental insurance will cover 75% of the bills.
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Old 15.07.2020, 08:04
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Re: Dentist costs.. a filling?

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Thats exactly it.i went to german border,had to travel for 2-3 hours,didnt save any money and had an awful expirience...i will not give derails but if you go to other countries, dont stop close to the border.
Sadly, there are still a number of people that are yet to arrive to this conclusion and we run periodically into some crazy cases in our dental practice. A recent one. Female, early 60s, came to us with pain in upper jaw. Two years prior we had given her a quote for prosthetic restoration involving multiple teeth. She took the quote and went to a practice on the border. They told her they will save her 1000 CHF and she agreed to do the work there. Except, their work involved different prosthodontic solution. They ended up pulling all teeth with good long-term prospects and loading 5 marginal teeth (and loading them in a way that rapidly sped up their decay). After two years, the whole solution is falling apart ... except, now, you cannot redo, as the healthy teeth are gone and most of what is left cannot be saved. There is no 'Backspace / Undo' button.

The practices at the border solely cater to dental tourists. For the most part, they focus on big cases, not expecting to see the patient ever again. Turnover among dentists is high. There are undoubtedly good dentists in some of them, but most seem to attract get-rich-quick types. Patients with poor outcomes seldom pursue legal challenges in foreign countries. There are some exceptions with major screw-ups (there were several big cases involving 2 German dentists and one in France where the dentists ultimately lost their licenses), but the vast majority of patients do not pursue a legal route.
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