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Professional teeth cleaning costs vary widely
Professional tooth cleaning is recommended by almost all dentists. However, the cleaning measure is not listed as a provision in the service catalog of the statutory health insurance companies, which is why tooth cleaning must also be paid out of one's own pocket. Private dental insurance also rarely pays the full cost. The treatment costs at the dentist are very different. The Rhineland-Palatinate Consumer Center reports that the range is between 40 and 250 euros. Whether there is any medical benefit at all is still a matter of debate. Nevertheless, dental practices recommend the procedure to also take additional money.
The cost of tooth cleaning in dental surgeries is very different. The statutory health insurers or dental insurers only cover the costs in a few exceptions. This was determined by the market check of the Rhineland-Palatinate Consumer Center.
The experts surveyed 39 dental practices, 57 statutory health insurance funds and 27 private supplementary insurers. As a first result, consumer advocates found that dental practices charge very different fees. "Between 40 and 250 euros for professional tooth cleaning, that's the range of practices".
Professional tooth cleaning is not a basic cash benefit
"Professional tooth cleaning is one of the individual health services (hedgehogs) that doctors advertise as a hedgehog offer," reports health expert Julika Unger from the consumer advice center. “Patients have to pay for them themselves.” The schedule of fees stipulates that the costs are based on the number of teeth of the patient and how extensive or complicated the dental cleaning measures are. The rate at which the dentist bills is also decisive. Practice can calculate either 1.0 times, 2.3 times or even a higher increasing factor. Depending on the accounting rate, cleaning 28 teeth can cost less than 50 euros or more than 150 euros. So it can happen that patients pay three times for the same treatment.
66 percent of the health insurance companies stated that they paid at least part of the teeth cleaning costs. The majority of health insurance companies only pay the costs if the patient instructs a special dentist. Some health insurance companies even cover the full costs, but the majority only grant grants of between 13 and 75 euros per treatment or year.
In the further course of the evaluation, the consumer advocates also examined the supplementary insurers more closely. A total of 27 private supplementary insurers were interviewed. They offer a total of 126 different tariffs with tooth cleaning. According to their own statements, only five of the insurers surveyed fully cover the tooth cleaning costs. 16 companies only pay the full amount if the therapy costs between 50 and 150 euros. Most tariffs only provide a lower percentage and limit the maximum amount in different ways. Some tariffs make the benefit dependent on advance payment from the statutory health insurance.
Medical benefits not proven
The medical benefit of professional tooth cleaning is debated in dentistry. For example, the medical service of the umbrella association of health insurance companies rated the cleaning of teeth in adults without the dismantling of the tooth holder in the IGEL monitor as "unclear". As a reason, the team of doctors and researchers cited that there are no verifiable studies that prove benefit. On the other hand, there is also no evidence that tooth cleaning could cause damage. The only thing that has been proven, however, is that after the procedure "the teeth shine white again". (sb)
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