How to avoid a trip to the emergency dentist

How to avoid a trip to the emergency dentist

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How can you best avoid a trip to the emergency dentist when you are still searching for a reliable dentist? And what should you be looking for when picking a dentist in Amsterdam? Maarten Vaartjes from Amsterdam dental practice Tandarts Jordaan explains.

As a newly arrived expat in Amsterdam, you will have a lot of exploring to do, and your to-do list for setting up your home is probably as long as your arm. It would be no surprise to anyone if finding a dentist is not your top priority. However, dental emergencies can be costly events if you´re not already registered at a dental practice. Here is what you can do to avoid a trip to the emergency dentist:

Oral hygiene

The best and most obvious way to avoid a dental emergency is, of course, to look after your teeth! “Good dental care focuses on preventing dental problems", says Maarten Vaartjes, the experienced dentist and owner of expat dentist, Tandarts Jordaan, a multilingual clinic right in the historical heart of Amsterdam.

Good brushing practices include brushing with an electrical brush and high-quality toothpaste, being sure to brush twice a day for a full two minutes and to avoid using mouthwash, which can upset the delicate bacterial balance in the mouth. Water is simple and just as good.

To make sure your brushing is effective, a good routine is what the Dutch refer to as the 3 B´s, "binnen, buiten, boven" (inside, outside, top). Repeating this routine twice per day helps ensure you are reaching all sides of your teeth.

Choosing a good dentist

You´ll want to brush up on your knowledge of how dentistry is regulated in the Netherlands as well. Without a regular dentist, a dental emergency cannot only be painful but expensive, as in the Netherlands, dentists´ costs do not fall under your basic health insurance policy.

However, all dental costs are regulated and capped by the government to make sure patients are not overpaying and you can add a supplementary packet to your policy to cover any additional dental health needs.

Standard procedures for children under the age of 18 are generally covered by basic health care packages. For orthodontic and more complex care, you will need to check with your particular insurance provider though.

So, you can go to any dentist and pay the same for your care. But what you are getting for your money exactly, in terms of the quality of the experience, can still vary. You may want to look for a dental practice that is particularly geared towards expats. The level of spoken English in the Netherlands is generally high.

That said, not all health practices’ staff will be equally fluent. Only if the clinic is geared towards expats will you find fluent English staff and occasionally the option to correspond in English as well.

Prevention is better than cure

To register at a dentist, simply contact the practice and make your first appointment. With the busy schedules of expats in mind, one or two may have extended opening hours, and / or be open on Sundays. Once you´re registered, you can make appointments when needed.

If you have a dental emergency, simply call the practice and you can expect to be seen as soon as possible by an experienced dentist.

As prevention is better than cure, for regular maintenance, the general rule of thumb is two check-ups a year with the dentist and at least one or two with the dental hygienist.

As Vaartjes says, "Routine dental cleanings are key to preventing cavities, gum disease, evaluating oral health and combating bad breath. If you’re constantly popping tic tacs, perhaps it’s a sign that you’re overdue! If you can prevent the build-up of plaque, you can work towards a fresh and healthy mouth."

Emergency dentistry

Of course, accidents cannot always be avoided. In the case of a genuine emergency, such as severe toothache, heavy oral bleeding, or the breaking or loss of a tooth, you can always be seen by a dentist even if you´re not registered as a regular patient and often they will try and see you the same day.

If you aren't registered always bring your ID with you, as well as your insurance card if you have it and a debit or credit card. Plus, if a tooth has come out, keep it cool and take that with you too!

Register at Amsterdam dentist Tandarts Jordaan now. At Tandarts Jordaan, you can expect a highly personalised service, welcoming atmosphere, high-quality hygiene processes and customer care, and extended opening hours. For more information, call the practice: 020 612 12 43.

Maarten Vaartjes


Maarten Vaartjes

Maarten Vaartjes is a dentist and co-owner of dental clinic TandartsJordaan, located in Amsterdam centre. Trained in both Amsterdam and New York Maarten and his staff combine international high end...

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