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Choosing a Dentist In Switzerland: A Practical Guide

What does it take to keep your teeth clean...

When I first came to Switzerland, one of the first things that I was warned about was the absurd price of dentistry here. While the system is very good in terms of quality, it is not good at all in terms of price. This is because people here usually do not have dental insurance paid for by their employer, so one has to usually pay the whole cost of the treatment themselves since it is also not covered in the general health insurance.

And this is Switzerland after all, one of the most expensive countries in the world, with dentistry being no exception. I took a quick look online to find some prices, and they are indeed very high. So do you just have to suck it up and pay everything yourself? Not quite! You have other options, namely:

  1. Go across the border to Germany or France to get potentially cheaper treatment.
  2. Go somewhere else completely?

Having been in the country for 4.5 years, I’ve learned a bit about all three options, and wanted to create this post to highlight the positives and negatives of each. In particular, I went to Serbia (a 1.5 hour flight away) for some dental treatment, and I can weigh the positives and negatives of each.

But first, I’ll put my findings in a quick table:

Category Switzerland Germany Serbia
Checkup Price 80 CHF 30 CHF 10 CHF
Cleaning Price 180 CHF 120 CHF 15 CHF
X-Ray Price 190 CHF 40 CHF 15 CHF
Filling Price Per Tooth Around 300 CHF Around 100 CHF Around 40 CHF
Quality Great Great Great
Time To Get There And Back (ZRH) 20 minutes 3 hours 1 day
Price To Get There And Back (ZRH) 0 CHF 30 CHF >150 CHF
English Level Good Good You have to look

As you can see, for anything major, if you have the time, it probably makes sense to start looking at other places to go for your treatment.

I’ll go into more details here below.


OK, so a huge disclaimer: I personally have never been to the dentist myself here, but I’ve heard multiple accounts of how it’s very expensive here. Again, the main reason is the price.

Going to Switzerland to the dentist will probably be worth it if you don’t have too much time and are just going for a check up and a cleaning, but more than that and it starts to add up really quickly.


I actually did go to Germany for a check up and cleaning (more specifically, in Konstanz). This was, in total, about a 3 hour train journey that cost around 30 CHF for me.

Konstanz is a popular location to go for dental work. However, I’m not sure I would recommend it if you were to just go for a very basic treatment, as the cost and time it takes to get there is a bit of a hassle. In fact, the next time I’ll go for only a cleaning, I think I’ll just stay in Switzerland.

However, for medium scale treatments, such as removal of a wisdom tooth or 1 or 2 fillings, I’d probably go to Germany to do it.

Somewhere else?

The final option is, if you have more major work to do, is to fly somewhere else completely for your checkup (namely, somewhere that’s a lot cheaper). Luckily from Switzerland you can fly to a lot of places in less than 2 hours one way for a 150 CHF round trip flight. I personally chose Serbia because a friend of mine is from there and he recommended someone good for me to go to. However, I’ve heard good things about other countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Turkey, so if you are looking for alternatives you could go there.

It instantly became clear to me that going somewhere else for anything medium to major is worth it 10x over (literally). Sure, it’s a hassle to find a dentist and buy the ticket to come over, but once you do, your wallet will be thanking you.

Note that there are places online that advertise their dental services. These might charge a bit more than if you find somebody locally, but I have not done the research into that.

Final Note

Depending on what kind of treatment you want, it makes sense to go to different places to get them done. However, keep in mind that if you do go to different places to get your work done, you might lose some personalized treatment had you stayed with the same dentist the whole time.