High dentist bills - what's your solution?

Hey folks

I’m running the basic Swica insurance policy with a few extras “Completa Top” and “Optima” which covers things such as gym membership gratifications but have no specific dental coverage other than a few hundred bucks. Still in my young twenties hence I run a 2’500 franchise.

I do yearly dental checks and turns out I have to get my wisdoom teeth removed in the foreseeable future. Total costs around CHF 2’500. I’m gonna try to get this approved as a “Zahnstellungskorrektur”, for which case half of it would be covered through Preventa / Top.

Since it is unlikely to get approved, I’m wondering what kind of dental insurance policies you are running or if you’re going to Austria / Germany for dental checks altogether.

Many thanks for your support.

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If you’re not worried about treated by students, have time and flexible schedule, I would recommend the ZMK in Berne. https://www.zmk.unibe.ch/

But you have to “apply” and it’s not shure that they’ll take you. If you’re lucky, you can save a lot of money.

Wisdom teeth is just something you have to pay up it sucks, the whole procedure is marked up upsurdly high, even compared to a normal dentist visit.

For me all I have is an annual cleaning, which will run you roughly 150.- depending on location, dentist etc.
Thats about it if you have healthy teeth and no other “complications” (braces, holes … )

Because of that, I have no additional dental insurance. I’m curious what you guys all have

Thanks for the input guys, helps a lot. I’ll certainly let you know if I can somehow sway Swica to pay part of it but chances are slim. Some of my friends did the procedure in Germany for 400 Euro… might be worth a shot, although I prefer local and Swiss quality (stereotypical Swiss in that regard :stuck_out_tongue:)

Go to a Kiefer-Chirurg in Germany (not a dentist). Best decision ever.

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If it’s a real complicated “surgery” procedure, you might be lucky - but a long shot.

I did this too (very close to my home) and had no troubles. Very professional and with 2-3 follow-ups just to make sure everything was in order; I think it was around a couple of hundred €.
Of course, I did my research in identifying a good place to go, not just the first random one.

Choosing a dentist is similar like choosing a professional car mechanic - but just with more severe consequences. But when you are not in that particular business, there is small chances that you get the right one.

If somebody needs a really good dentist who is making also surgeries in Zurich city, send me a pm. I will not drop the name here officially.

I cleaned my teeth for 16chf, only because it was a “medium” work. otherwise it would have been cheaper. I did it in the Philippines.
You can plan it during your next holidays, but you need to carefully search for a good dentist or know someone there. I did that only because I was told they were good dentists. Also a cavity filling costs between 16-32chf.

Thailand is popular for that, you might find loads of info on internet.

If your tooth hurts, I’d suggest you to suck it up and pay. Health takes the priority.

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Not a very good long-term solution, but here is a personal anecdote…
A few years ago my wife had a bunch of expensive dental work that needed to be done. We went to Thailand for a 3 week trip, including 1 week in Bangkok to go back and forth to the clinic for multiple appointments. The whole trip + dentist cost us less than the dental work would have at home (at the time, home was a rather expensive city outside of Switzerland and we had no dental insurance).

The clinic was recommended to us by a family friend who had been there recently… not sure I would have played the “guinea pig” by trying an unknown clinic. The dentists there spoke perfect English and their degrees were from Japanese and American unis (can’t recall which, but they were real ones). Best service we’ve ever had at a dentist, too. Of course, the issue is that if you have problems related to the work later on, you will probably wind up at an expensive dentist at home.

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Are you sure wisdom teeth removal is not covered by your normal health insurance? It’s not something that you get for hygienic reasons after all…

I think mine automatically covered at least half of the bill. Should have been 100% though… I don’t understand why the system is so bad. If I fall and break my teeth I have to pay, If I fall and break my arm everything is covered… Why?

Maybe it’s something that needs changing… The Swiss are usually very trigger-happy with bullshit Referendums, how about a reasonable one for once?

Many great answers here, thanks a lot! I agree that it is very weird that dental cases aren’t covered. Even in the US those are usually covered by regular insurance unless you enter medicare / retirement age.

@Double_A if I fall and break my teeth, wouldn’t this be covered under UVG (Unfallversicherung / accident insurance) or NBUVG (Nichtberufsunfallversicherung)? I can’t imagine the horrendous costs for a full repair with no coverage…

For me half of it was covered by the complementary insurance. And I think you had to be under 30 or so. Definitely not the basis.

My solution is going to Eastern Europe.

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Dental damage caused by accidents are covered by UVG or (if not employed) by the accident rider on your compulsory health insurance. Dental damage caused by illness or medication is covered by your compulsory health insurance, as are serious illnesses of the oral system. The compulsory health insurance can’t cover all dental work, or you would end up paying high premiums to cover people’s cosmetic work.

If you have Completa Top from Swica and are under 25, I am pretty sure removal of the wisdom teeth would fall under either the orthodontic or the dental surgery coverages (both 50%, max. CHF 10k). Just contact Swica and explain the situation, ideally give them a quote. Don’t get any work done until you have their written approval (or disapproval).

Since I come from Greece, me and partner (Italian) we end up in Athens for all the planned works, as part of our regular trips. More often than not, 50EUR for an hour’s work by very specialised experts -fi. orthodontist of high credentials- and with very good service level is certainly a bargain. Note that a modern and up-to-date dentist is much more than just teeth, since they can recognise and warn on other aspects of human health, due to patient proximity.

If you have unplanned work coming, like wisdom teeth, impromptu travel is not really an option.
Wherever you go, make sure you ask for referrals by the “repeat patients”.

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I contacted my health insurance provider and unfortunately it does not count as a “Zahnstellungskorrektur”, hence they are not paying for it. Would you recommend going to Germany / Austria to get the work done or is the quality in Switzerland superior?

All good tips!

I don’t have much else to add, other than trying to avoid getting in the chair in the first place! For example:-

  • A good electric tooth brush! Use the full 2minute timer morning and evenings, and even a quick brush after lunch/red wine if you can. Replace the heads every few months.
  • Flossing regularly, using the small floss brush things is much easier to make it into a habit.
  • Add some fluoride varnish over your teeth 1-2 times a year
  • Cut out the fizzy drinks - or at least wash your mouth out after drinking if you can’t kick the habit.
    Have you done the experiment?
  • Stop smoking. Just. freaking. stop.
  • Enforce the above with your children.

… “Prevention is better than cure” - Desiderius Erasmus

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