During the recruitment conversations, we are often asked about the career progress of a dentist in the Netherlands and the possibilities to specialize in specific fields.
In this article, you can find some information regarding the specializations that are acknowledged in Dutch dentistry, and also the official institutes associated with each of those fields of expertise.
N.B.: When registering as a specialist you must resign from performing any other general dental treatments.
There are two specializations that are recognized in the Netherlands: Oral Surgery and Orthodontics.
-The oral surgeon has studied dentistry and medicine and afterwards needs to follow the curriculum associated with that specialization, which lasts 4 more years.
-To become an orthodontist you also need to follow a special program of 4 more extra years after becoming a dentist. In the Netherlands, this specialization can be done in Amsterdam, Groningen and Nijmegen. Every year, they allow around 10 dentists to start it.
A periodontist recognized by the NVvP https://www.nvvp.org/home is a dentist who, after finishing their general dentistry studies, has followed a post-graduation in periodontology, which is a 3-year, full-time program.
The periodontist receives patients referred from general dentists or from dental hygienists.
The endodontist also receives patients referred from the general dentists. Their specialization takes 3 years of full-time study, after the general studies of dentistry.
Afterwards, they can be recognized as a specialist by the NVVE.
- Pediatric Dentist
The pediatric dentist is specialized in children and in the Netherlands they usually see referred patients that are extremely afraid, patients that are quite young but need several dental treatments and also children with behavioural problems. They are also used to treat children with physical and mental problems, and those with general medical conditions.
The specialization takes 3 years of full-time study, and afterwards they can be recognized as a specialist by the NVVK.
- Dentist-Orthodontist and Orthodontist
In the Netherlands, orthodontic treatments can be performed by general dentists and by orthodontists.
Dentists that have done specific education in the field of orthodontics after their general dental studies are named ‘dentists-orthodontists’. In their daily practice they usually perform general dental treatments (such as fillings, extractions, endodontic treatments, etc) combined with orthodontic treatments.
An orthodontist is a specialist that followed a 4-year, full-time specialization after their general dental studies. They exclusively perform orthodontic treatments in their daily practice.
They can both perform orthodontic treatment plans, but the orthodontist usually takes on the more complex cases.
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Normally, every dentist or dental/oral surgeon is authorized to place implants in the Netherlands if they are competent to do so. An NVOI-recognized implantologist is a dentist or oral surgeon who is specialized in implantology.
The NVOI is the Dutch Association for Oral Implantology, a scientific association that monitors the quality of implantology in our country, among other things. An NVOI-recognized implantologist must work according to their guidelines and is regularly inspected.
- Restorative Dentist
A restorative dentist is specialized in quite complex and extensive treatment plans. They apply interdisciplinary knowledge in restoring the mouth of a patient, by performing full-arch prostheses, crowns, bridges and implants, as well as full-arch, implant-based rehabilitations.
Specialists are certified by the NVVRT.
A few of the requirements necessary to participate in Post-Doctorates at the Dutch Universities are:
- a Dutch BIG registration as a dentist
- an international Master’s degree in dentistry that is recognized under Dutch law
- at least 1 year of practical experience in a general clinic after graduation
- good command of the Dutch language in speech and writing (levels B2/C1)
- fluency in English (C1 level)
- experience with the Dutch healthcare system.
Recognition of foreign qualifications
In case you already have a specialization or differentiation from another country than the Netherlands, and you wish to be recognized as such, then the foreign diploma needs to be checked and analyzed by Nuffic, which is the ‘Dutch Organization for Internationalization in Education’.
The diplomas should then be submitted for certification at the specific institution that represents the field of expertise in question: