Who pays your dental bill?

Children receive free public dental treatment in Norway. In principle, adults have to pay themselves, however there are a number of exceptions.

Dentistry tools

​Some types of dental treatment are covered by the rules for the exemption card for health services.

However, please be aware that if you are entitled to dental treatment from the Public Dental Health Service you cannot also receive allowance from Helfo as part of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

Dental treatment for children (0-18 years of age)

All treatment, with the exception of dental braces, is free of charge. Your local public dental clinic calls children in for regular check-ups. As a rule, the child is first called in at the age of three. If the child has dental problems before he/she reaches the age of three, you can make enquiries with the public health nurse or contact the dental clinic.

If you have any questions concerning allowance relating to braces, see the page Braces for children and adolescents.

If you are struggling financially and will have problems being able to pay for dental braces, you can apply to NAV for support(only in Norwegian). Find your dental clinic on the website of your county municipality.

Dental treatment for adolescents (19-20 and 21-24 years of age)

If you reach the age of 19-24 in the year of treatment, you should contact the public dental health service. You might be entitled to cheaper dental treatment, regardless of when during the year you were born.

If you turn 19 or 20 in the year of treatment, and receive treatment from the public dental health service, you must pay 25 per cent of the cost yourself, while the public sector will cover the remaining 75 per cent according to rates set by Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet. 

Young adults are, from the year they turn 21 and up to and including the year they turn 24, entitled to an extended county municipal dental health service (utvidet fylkeskommunalt tannhelsetilbud). This means that they pay 25 per cent of the rates set by Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet for dental treatment. (Read more about this in Rundskriv I-2/2023 Utvidet fylkeskommunalt tannhelsetilsbud i 2023 – regjeringen.no(Only in Norwegian).

To have this right as an adolescent, you must contact the public dental health service, regarding your treatment.

Any user fee will be registered by the automatic exemption card scheme at only 25 per cent of the approved user fee, if the treatment entitles you to an allowance from the Norwegian National Insurance scheme.

The public dental clinic where you live/reside is where the dental treatment will be provided and paid for.

Please note that you will not necessarily be called to a dental examination. You can find your nearest dental clinic on the website of the county municipality where you live or are staying. You can make contact for an appointment yourself.

If you are struggling financially, you can apply to NAV for support for the dental treatment.

Dental treatment for adults

​Most people have to pay their expenses for dental treatment themselves. However, there are some conditions/situations where the National Insurance scheme will cover some of the cost of treatment via Helfo.

In order for you to be entitled to an allowance for dental treatment, your treatment provider must have an arrangement with Helfo regarding direct settlement. You must ensure that this is the case before attending a dental appointment and starting your treatment. The treatment provider is obliged to inform you if he or she does not have a direct settlement arrangement with Helfo, so you will know before your treatment starts whether or not you will have to pay the entire bill yourself. This obligation follows from Section 6 of the Health Personnel Act.

With direct settlement, the allowance will be paid directly to the dentist, so you will not have to pay for the part of your treatment that is covered by the Norwegian National Insurance scheme.

The dentist/dental hygienist will assess whether you are covered by any of the conditions/situations which may entitle you to an allowance from Helfo.

The 15 allowance categories are:

  1. Rare medical condition (ask the dentist about the conditions that are on this list at any time)
  2. Cleft lip-jaw-palate
  3. Tumours in the oral cavity, adjacent tissue or in the head region in general
  4. Treatment to prevent infection in connection with special medical conditions 
  5. Diseases and abnormalities in the mouth and jaw 
  6. Periodontitis
  7. Tooth development disorders 
  8. Bite abnormalities (dental braces/ jaw orthodontic treatment)
  9. Pathological loss of tooth substances due to attrition/erosion 
  10. Hyposalivation (dry mouth)
  11. Allergic reactions to tooth restoration materials
  12. Tooth damage related to a recognised occupational injury (the occupational injury must have been acknowledged by NAV and the dental treatment must have a connection to the occupational injury)
  13. Tooth damage related to an accident that is not an occupational injury 
  14. Inability to care for oneself due to permanent illness or permanent disability 
  15. Full or partial loss of tooth, without own teeth in the lower jaw (and unable to use loose-fitting prosthetic)

You can find the conditions linked to the various medical conditions in the circular concerning Sections 5-6, 5-6 a and 5-25 of the National Insurance scheme(only in Norwegian).

Approved user fees in connection with disorders and anomalies of the mouth and jaw (allowance category 5) and treatment of marginal periodontitis and periimplantitis (allowance category 6) count towards accrual of an health services exemption card. Your dentist/dental hygienist must declare approved user fees to Helfo’s automatic exemption card scheme.

Helfo pays allowance at fixed rates, but the dentist/dental hygienist will not be covered by any pricing restrictions and may charge more than the amount you are covered for under the National Insurance scheme. If you have questions about the allowance you are entitled to, ask your dentist or your dental hygienist. 

If you are struggling financially, you can apply to NAV for support for dental treatment (in accordance with the Social Services Act).
Here, you can find out more about coverage of dental treatment expenses in the EU/EEA.

Dental treatment for the elderly

​The majority have to pay expenses for dental treatment themselves, however there are some exceptions. The dentist will assess your rights.

People who live at an institution or have received home nursing care for more than three months receive treatment free of charge from the Public Dental Health Service.

If you are struggling financially, you can apply to NAV for support for dental treatment (in accordance with the Social Services Act).

Dental treatment for the mentally disabled

​For mentally disabled people who live in or outside of institutions, with the exception of dental braces, dental treatment is free of charge from the Public Dental Health Service.

Dental treatment for other groups

Other groups who may be entitled to coverage for all or parts of the expenses of dental treatment:

  • Refugees and asylum seekers at asylum reception centres. Read more about this at helsetilsynet.no (only in Norwegian). See also the Directorate of Health`s guide for Health Services for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Reunited Families (only in Norwegian.)
  • Substance abusers who have received services in accordance with the Social Services Act for three months or more.
  • Substance abusers undergoing medication-assisted rehabilitation treatment.
  • Dental treatment for people with odontophobia: If you have severe fear or phobia of dentistry or have been subjected to torture or abuse, you may be entitled to an adapted offer (TOO) from the Public Dental Health Service. Read more about the offer (TOO) here (only in Norwegian). If you meet the criteria for the TOO offer, anxiety treatment and dental treatment are covered by government funds until your teeth are rehabilitated.

Dental care in prisons

Prison inmates are offered necessary emergency dental treatment by the Public Dental Health Service. For periods in prison of more than three months, dental health examinations are also offered as well as necessary preventative and normal dental treatment. Other expenses for dental treatment must be covered by the inmate him/herself.

Read more about health care for inmates in prison at helsedirekotratet.no (only in Norwegian).

If you are struggling financially, you can apply to NAV for support for dental treatment (in accordance with the Social Services Act).

Anaesthesia/nitrous oxide with dental treatment

​Some people require anaesthesia in order for dental treatment to be carried out. Before a decision is made regarding anaesthesia it will be assessed as to whether the dental treatment can be performed with the assistance of sedative medication, nitrous oxide or using psychological methods. Nitrous oxide is available at some public and private dental clinics.

Costs for anaesthesia during dental treatment

For children (0-18 years), people with mental disabilities and groups of older, long-term sick and disabled in institutions and home nursing care, the county municipality has a duty to cover the costs, including for dental treatment with anaesthesia if required.

The dentist will assess whether you require anaesthesia. Dental treatment with anaesthesia will be provided at a hospital and the waiting time may be long.

With regard to adults who are not covered by the Public Dental Health Service or other schemes, they must, as a starting point, pay for the anaesthesia treatment themselves, however the various counties may have different policies.

Enquiries may be directed to the individual county dentists. In some counties, dental treatment is performed at hospitals. Some private dental clinics also offer anaesthesia.

In some cases, the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme provides financial support for dental treatment under anaesthesia.


Content provided by Helfo

Helfo. Who pays your dental bill?. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Thursday, April 13, 2023 [retrieved Thursday, June 13, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/payment-for-health-services/who-pays-your-dental-bill/

Last updated Thursday, April 13, 2023