Even if you have no pain or other symptoms, it is important to take regular dental checkups. Dental illnesses are easier to treat if discovered before any symptoms occur. Oral and dental health affect your overall health.
If you have a municipality of residence (kotikunta) in Finland, you are entitled to use public dental care services. You can find more information on the InfoFinland web page Municipality of residence in Finland.
In case of emergency, you can use municipal services even if you do not have a municipality of residence in Finland or a residence permit for Finland. The costs may be charged to you afterwards.
In Finland, health services are provided in Finnish and Swedish. You can usually use English, too. When you make an appointment with a dentist, ask if you can use an interpreter if you do not speak these languages. Read more on the InfoFinland page Do you need an interpreter?
When you have made an appointment with a dentist, it is important that you arrive at the dentist in good time. If you have an appointment but cannot make it, it is very important that you cancel it in good time, normally on the previous day. If you cannot make your appointment and you have not cancelled it, you will have to pay a fee.
Public dental care services
Municipalities offer dental care at health centres (terveysasema) or dental clinics (hammashoitola).
When you want to make an appointment for dental care, call the dental care appointments desk in your locality. The need for and urgency of treatment is usually estimated over the phone. If there is no urgent need for treatment, you may have to queue for several months. However, getting dental care must take no longer than six months.
When you need urgent care and want to make an appointment, call the emergency dental clinic’s appointments desk (päivystysajanvaraus). A severe ache, swelling or accident are reasons for seeking urgent care. Urgent cases are treated quickly.
In the evenings and at weekends, emergency care is centralised at larger units. If you live in a small community, you may have to travel to the nearest town for emergency care.
If you need more demanding procedures, such as dental surgery, make an appointment first with a dentist. The dentist will write you a referral to a specialised dentist, if necessary.
Private dental care services
Private dental care is more expensive than public care. If you are covered by Finnish social security, Kela will pay a part of the fee. Kela will not, however, compensate dental care that is purely cosmetic in nature. More information is available on the Kela website.
For more information about the Finnish national health insurance, go to the InfoFinland web page Finnish social security.
The municipality regularly organises dental examinations for children. Children under school-age are given dental examinations once every few years. In some cities, children are sent invitations to dental examinations by letter. If the scheduled examination time is inconvenient, call the appointment booking service to change it. In some cities, you need to book the examination appointment yourself.
Schoolchildren have their dental examinations during the school day at the local health centre’s dental clinic. Dental examinations are done during 1st, 5th and 8th grade. Parents should come with the child to the dental examination, at least during 1st grade.
Dental care at health centres is free of charge for children under the age of 18.