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A Guide to Greek Dentists

Finding a dentist is not too difficult but involves a degree of research depending on the island you live on. The Public Health Service manages the Greek state health care, which includes dentistry. Private dentists are in the majority in Greece with only 20% of all dentists working in the National Health scheme.


NHS Dental Provisions
The Greek Health Service has a number of state dental clinics, which provide basic treatment and preventative care free of charge for anyone under the age of 18. Other procedures are charged at 25% of the full cost for children up to 16; however you must be paying into the Greek National Insurance system to qualify. If you are contributing to the Greek Health System via contributions to the IKA, the agency in charge of overseeing this, you will qualify for the following dental treatment: Preventive dentistry, full or partial dental prosthetics (dentures), special treatment at the centres specialising in orthodontics, pediatrics dentistry, periodontology and jaw surgery. If your island does not have a dentist enrolled into the state system you can be treated by a private dentist who has a contract with the IKA. Even if you are covered by the state insurance scheme, you will have to pay for crowns, bridges and inlays. If you are treated at an NHS outlet you will not have to pay for routine treatment, but if you visit a private dentist you will have to pay and can then claim some of the fee back usually anything from 20% to 70% depending on the treatment you received or depending on the agreement the dentist has with the IKA. The IKA also provide free preventive dentist al care for all school age children. Very few Greeks take out private dental care although there are a number of private plans available.

Professional Organisations
Various organisations are involved in overseeing the Greek dentistry; the government and the Hellenic Dental Association (HDA) monitor its quality. The Central Disciplinary Council of the Ministry of Health and Welfare are responsible for dealing with complaints and discipline. There are two dental schools, where dentists are trained; one is in Athens, the other in Thessaloniki and both are affiliated to universities. The course lasts five years and around 300 students are admitted each year. Thus all practicing dentists must have a diploma and a licence from the Prefecture as well as being registered with one of the Regional Dental Societies, which are members of the HDA. After two years of practice, all dentists are required by law to extend their skill base by studying specific areas of dentistry like implant technology, prosthodontics, and endodontics. These specialist courses take two to three years to complete.
Dental assistants train for two years and must be registered with the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Registering with a Dentist
When you register for National Insurance payments, at the local IKA, you will receive a medical card and also a list of local doctors and dentists who are enrolled in the scheme. If you are not enrolled into the scheme you will have to pay for all of your treatment at the full rate regardless of whether you visit a private or NHS dentist. You need to make an appointment in advance and will usually be seen within one to two days unless you need emergency treatment.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Greece
A lasting, beautiful smile is something that is available at a low cost in Greece and the Islands - approximately half of the costs paid for the same treatments in the UK - and there are plenty of stylish and competent private dental clinics who also must conform to the Greek law regulating dentistry. Some of the most fashionable procedures offered by the cosmetic dentists in Greece include bridges and veneers, tooth whitening, crowns and caps and fillings.