Reimbursements under the health insurance scheme for dental care provided abroad: Estonia remains the most popular dental care destination


EU legislation makes it possible for Finns to seek dental care in another EU or EEA country or in Switzerland. You can seek dental care either with a prior authorisation granted by Kela or independently. If you visit a dentist independently, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela on the same grounds as for dental care provided within private healthcare in Finland.

Even as dental care reimbursements under the health insurance scheme are available in almost all of Europe, not many Finns travel further than Estonia to go to the dentist.

– From among those who sought dental care independently abroad in 2016, nearly 90% of Kela’s dental care reimbursements were paid for dental care provided in Estonia, says Planner Reetta Kyyrö of Kela’s Centre for International Affairs.

Last year, Kela paid reimbursements for dental care provided in Estonia 7,342 times, the year before that the corresponding figure was 6,394. Besides Estonia, Finns preferred Spain as a dental care destination and related reimbursements were paid little over 670 times. The number of Kela reimbursement decisions for dental care provided in Sweden was 33, in Germany 31, in Hungary 62 and in Poland 49.

In order for dental care provided abroad to be eligible for reimbursement, the treatment provided must belong to the range of services available in the Finnish healthcare system and it must be eligible for reimbursement under the Health Insurance Act. The ‘range of services’ refers to Finnish publicly funded health care services and private health care services eligible for reimbursement under the health insurance scheme.

– Kela does not reimburse costs of any cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening. Costs of procedures related to prosthetic care and costs resulting from the work of a dental technician are reimbursed only for front veterans and deminers. Orthodontic care is reimbursed when it is indispensable, for example when the client suffers from a considerable congenital growth or developmental disorder of the jaws, says Reetta Kyyrö.

You are to seek and use healthcare services abroad. You can seek services of both primary healthcare and specialised medical care and you can also receive treatment for a chronic condition. You do not need to notify Kela or other authorities in advance of the matter. Kela reimburses the costs of treatment given in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland afterwards.