• France's news in English

Dental care becoming a 'luxury' in France

Ben McPartland · 25 Nov 2013, 13:04

Published: 25 Nov 2013 13:04 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In its recent report the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) commended France’s health care system for having the second lowest up-front charges for patients in Europe.

However the country’s dental care system does not appear to be in as good a condition and has come in for criticism by a collective of French consumer rights groups on Monday.

In their joint report that will appear on the website of rights group “60 Million Consumers” the collective says access to dental care in France is becoming a “luxury” and denounced the high costs of treatment and "abuses" by dentists, which are putting many patients of seeking the necessary care.

In the French health system most patients are required to pay up front for the treatment, which is then reimbursed to varying degrees by a combination of the state and private insurance companies called “mutuelles”.

However consumer groups say far too little of the increasing costs of care are being handed back to patients. In 2012 the state’s social security system did not reimburse a total of €6 billion that the public had spent on health care, according to the report.

The report points to the steep costs of having a crown put on, or even a false tooth being inserted, which cost the patient up to €400, less than half of which is reimbursed.

And for orthodontic treatment, of which the average cost is €650 a month, less than €200 will be paid back by the state’s health insurance “L'Assurance maladie”.

The report accuses dentists of abusing the system by charging way over the odds for treatment. Not mincing it’s the report talks of “fraud” and “unacceptable abuses” on the part of dentists, pointing to the fact some of them are charging 86 percent higher for the removal of a wisdom tooth than the recommended price laid down by the 2006 Dental Convention.

Story continues below…

They are also opting to offer patients the most expensive form of treatment despite cheaper options being available, the report claims.

How have you found dental care in France? Exhorbitant or still way cheaper than in the US, Britain or Ireland?

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available