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Going to the dentist to become more expensive from March

Only 57.5% of Flemish dentists still follow the official rates. Credit: Pixabay

Dentists who apply the official honorary fee rates will be allowed to charge more for a number of procedures from 1 March.

Dentists and health insurance funds have come to an agreement, meaning that tooth extractions, radiographs, and some fillings and prosthetics will cost more from March.

This means that dentists will be allowed to deviate from the standard rate for 20% of all their procedures. The rates for the other 80% of procedures will stay the same. A tooth extraction, which now costs €41, can cost up to €57.5. The price for filling a cavity can go up from €32 to €48.5.

Only for minors and people with a low income, dentists are not allowed to deviate from the standard rate, and the old prices will continue to apply.

Both parties hope that the agreement will put an end to the growing number of dentists who decide to stop complying with the official rates. Only 57.5% of Flemish dentists still follow the rates, the others determine their own prices, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

“For a large part of the treatments, the costs have risen faster than the index,” said Stefaan Hanson of the Association of Flemish Dentists, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

The new agreement means that patients will have to pay a higher price, but in exchange, they will get more certainty about the rates. In principle, the agreement is valid for two years, but if 65% of dentists have not agreed to it by the end of 2020, the negotiations will start again.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times