Professional teeth cleaning is often too expensive

Professional teeth cleaning is often too expensive

With professional teeth cleaning it is worth comparing prices

Professional tooth cleaning is billed very differently by dentists. This was the result of the current market check by the Rhineland-Palatinate Consumer Center. According to this, the treatment, the costs of which are rarely borne by the statutory health insurance or private dental insurance, costs between 40 and 250 euros - for the same benefit.

Costs for professional teeth cleaning are rarely covered "Professional teeth cleaning is one of the individual health services (IGeL) that doctors advertise as an IGeL offer," said Julika Unger, health expert at the consumer advice center. "Patients have to pay for them themselves." The dentists' schedule of fees states that the costs are based on the number of teeth of the patient as well as the scope and effort of the treatment. In addition, the so-called slope rate is decisive, with which the dentist settles. This can be calculated with 1.0 times, 2.3 times or even a higher increase factor. Most dentists charge between 40 and 250 euros for professional tooth cleaning, according to the study, in which 39 dental practices, 27 private supplementary insurance schemes and 57 statutory health insurance companies participated in March and April.

Two thirds of the health insurance companies surveyed cover part of the treatment costs. In most cases, however, the patient has to go to a specific dentist. Few health insurance companies also bear the full costs, others only a certain proportion, which varies from 13 to 75 euros per treatment or year. 27 of the private supplementary insurance plans provide for professional tooth cleaning with 126 different tariffs. Only five providers cover the entire cost of one or two teeth cleaning a year. 16 private insurers limit the cost coverage to amounts of 50 to 150 euros. Others only pay a lower part of the costs or base their benefits on the advance payments made by the statutory health insurance.

Professional teeth cleaning without verifiable benefits? So far, many health experts do not see the medical benefits of professional tooth cleaning as proven, as there are no studies that prove the positive effect on the dental health of patients. Nevertheless, many dentists recommend performing the sometimes expensive treatment every six to twelve months.

As the medical service of the umbrella association Bund der Krankenkassen e.V. (MDS) announced, only one study was found that could provide reliable information about the benefits of the measures. However, this study also shows that an annual guide to effective dental care is sufficient to reduce the risk of gingivitis and better care for the teeth. According to the MDS, the study participants who also received professional tooth cleaning showed no better dental health. However, the treatment does not leave any lasting damage either. "We rate the IGeL professional tooth cleaning in adults without periodontitis as unclear," says the website, where the MDS reviews the benefits of IGeL performance. (ag)

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