Make sense of... Visiting the dentist

Reforms to make dental work more affordable have been delayed a year. Here we outline how the current dentistry system works

Several more costly kinds of dental work are not well-reimbursed in France, resulting in some patients going abroad for treatment, relying on an expensive top-up policy – or even not getting work done. Various improvements were said to be in the pipeline but have now been delayed by at least a year (see below).

As with doctors’ visits, le tiers payant system (where the patient does not advance the state-reimbursed part of the fee) was supposed to become a right for dental visits from this December – however on going to press this timing is in doubt.

To find a dentist, one reliable way is to use the official medical directory at

Select chirurgiens-dentistes and choose conventionné under type d’honoraires. If the dentist is not conventionné (most are) they do not have to respect set tariffs so will probably be expensive and you ...

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