Even if you have no pain or other symptoms, it is important to have regular dental check-ups. 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 in Finland, you are entitled to use public dental health services (suun terveydenhuolto). 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. The medical costs can be collected from you afterwards.
Public dental care
When you wish to make an appointment with a dentist or dental hygienist, call the dental care appointments desk in your locality. If you do not need urgent treatment, you may have to wait several months. You should get treatment in six months from your call, at the latest.
In different wellbeing services counties, you can find public dental care services under the names suun terveydenhuolto, hammashoito or suun terveys.
When you need urgent care and want to make an appointment, call your local oral health care emergency services (suun terveydenhuollon päivystys). Make an appointment for urgent care if you have a severe ache or swelling, or you have been seriously injured in your mouth or face. That way you will receive treatment quickly.
In the evenings and at weekends, emergency care is centralised at larger units. If you live in a small locality, you may have to travel to the nearest town for emergency care.
If your dentist judges that you are in need of more demanding treatment, you will get a referral to further treatment.
Health services in Finland are offered in Finnish and Swedish. Often you can also get along with English. When making an appointment for oral health care services, ask if it is possible to use an interpreter if you cannot speak any of the above-mentioned languages. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Do you need an interpreter?
When you have made an appointment, it is important to be there on 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 do not arrive at the clinic and you have not cancelled your appointment, you will be charged a non-attendance fee.
Private dental care
Private oral health care is more expensive than public oral health 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.
Children regularly have dental check-ups. Children under school-age are given dental examinations once every few years. In some municipalities, 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 municipalities, 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.
Public oral health care is free of charge for children and young people under the age of 18.