Norwegians dropping visits to the dentist

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The fear of dentists is called “tannlegeskrekk” in Norwegian, and it seems that either many are infected with it, or they’re not willing to pay relatively high rates for dental care, which isn’t covered by the national health care system.

New figures from state statistics bureau SSB and KOSTRA, a municipal statistics service, show that 10 percent of adults over age 21 haven’t been to a dentist for more than two years. Residents of northern Norway go to the dentist (tannlege, literally “tooth doctor”) less often than residents of southern Norway.

Those with the best dental health in Norway tend to be among the highly educated with relatively high income, according to advisers Trond Ekornrud and Arne Jensen of SSB.

A growing number of Norwegians have begun traveling on “dental holidays” to Sweden, Poland, Hungary and other countries to undergo major dental treatment such as getting crowns or implants, because of high-quality but lower prices abroad. A standard crown in Norway now costs around NOK 6,000 (USD 1,100) or more.

Views and News staff