Welcome to the Netherlands, a captivating destination that holds incredible appeal for expats, especially foreign dentists seeking to embark on a rewarding new career.

Renowned for its open and welcoming culture, the Netherlands offers a multitude of benefits that make it an ideal choice for dental professionals looking to expand their horizons.

From its robust healthcare system and emphasis on high-quality patient care to its vibrant economy and excellent work-life balance, this dynamic country presents an array of opportunities and advantages for foreign dentists ready to thrive in a supportive and progressive environment.

Discover why the Netherlands stands out as a remarkable choice for those eager to shape a successful and fulfilling new career while embarking on an exciting journey to build a new life in a new country.

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Author

Arjen Versteeg

Head of Recruitment

The benefits of working as a dentist in the Netherlands

As the Netherlands has been facing a huge shortage of dentists for years, the country offers plenty of job opportunities to get started here. Too few dentists currently graduate from Dutch universities, so many vacancies cannot be filled. Therefore, there are a lot of vacancies for dentists, which makes the Netherlands an interesting country to consider for starting a career abroad.

In addition, you can also expect good working conditions. After all, you will be working as a general dentist, so you will be able to perform basic treatments such as check-ups, fillings, root canal treatments, extractions and simple prosthodontics, but (in time) also more complex treatments. This ensures that every day is different and challenging. Patients do not just come to the clinic when they have pain, but also preventative check-ups. They expect you to be able to offer the right treatment, and they are also prepared to pay for this.

Since patients generally visit the dentist twice a year, you will see between 15-35 patients a day on average. Because you always work together with an assistant, you can together provide quality and an efficient treatment to the patient. This way, you can make sure that the patient goes home satisfied and you can build a relationship with returning patients.

You are the expert, and the patient expects you to provide the right treatment and the best care. Especially since the costs of treatments are fixed, there is no competition between clinics, so you can make the difference as a health provider. Therefore, as a dentist in the Netherlands, you will feel respected and can put everything you learned at university into daily practice.

That’s why this is another benefit of working in the Netherlands; the work gives you great satisfaction.

You treat many patients every day and can perform various treatments, so you have the opportunity to make nice turnovers at the clinic. Therefore, you can also expect a good salary that matches with your experience and performance in the dental clinic.

Furthermore, you always have the opportunity and are even encouraged to keep developing yourself professionally, such as taking (post-graduate) courses and/or a Master’s degree. BGB supports you in this.

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The advantages of living as a dentist in the Netherlands

Even though you have a full agenda every day, you have a pleasant work schedule and work max 8 hours per day (excluding coffee and lunch break). You have plenty of holidays, so you can also enjoy a good work-life balance in the Netherlands. Sports, hobbies, spending time with your partner or family, there is plenty of time for that, both during the week and in the weekend. This good work-life balance is one of the main reasons why dentists enjoy working in the Netherlands.

Another advantage is that the Netherlands offers a favorabel tax climate for expats who want to work here. Through the 30% ruling, you can make use of a tax benefit for five years, as a result of which 30% of your gross income is not taxed, leaving you with a higher net income. This makes it financially attractive to work in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, the Netherlands is known for its good education system, so you can be sure that your (future) children can get a good education.

It is also a tolerant country where you can live safely, regardless of gender, nationality or political affiliation.

And because it is a small country, the distances you have to travel are short, so everything is also easily accessible. This is facilitated further by the country’s solid infrastructure. But despite the Netherlands being a small country with a high population density, you will find plenty of nature and greenery.

The country also offers social security. You will receive government support if you encounter financial troubles due to unemployment disease or other issues. And for (future) parents with kids, you may also be entitled to certain financial benefits. Besides that, the salaries are in balance with the cost of living.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons the Netherlands is an attractive country for foreign dentists to start their new career. Over 300 dentists already started their adventure, with a little bit of help from BGB.

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Frequently asked questions

Any work experience you can gain before working in a Dutch clinic is always beneficial. In any case, you must demonstrate that you’re confident in performing basic treatments in general dentistry, such as check-ups, fillings, endodontics, extractions, periodontics, and simple prosthodontics. It’s essential you feel confident about this, because Dutch dental clinics expect that you will be able to perform these treatments yourself and without guidance from other colleagues. Additionally, you have theoretical knowledge of advanced treatments, so you will be able to perform those treatments when you’re ready for it.

In any case, as part of the selection process, we will invite you to a dental assessment with one of our dental colleagues, who will check your work experience and knowledge in dentistry. They will evaluatie if you’re ready to start working in a Dutch clinic.

If you have any further questions about this, you can always contact Arjen (arjen@bgbdentistry.nl) and he’ll happy to help you!

Every foreign dentist who wants to work in the Netherlands needs to be registered in the so-called BIG register. This is the register for healthcare professionals in the Netherlands.

The BIG requires a number of documents for your application. If you’re a foreign dentist from another European country, one of these documents is proof of language proficiency. You can obtain this proof by passing the Dutch language exam.

The level of the Dutch language exam is a B2+ level. Therefore, the minimum required level to work in the Netherlands is B2+.

You are employed at BGB through a daughter company that holds your name, so we can make sure all back-office around salary, fiscal rulings, etc. is well arranged. This company then sends an invoice to the clinic for the work provided. The payment of the invoice is then used to pay all the costs of the company, including your salary and the study costs.

The employment contract will be explained and discussed in detail during your selection procedure with us.

To be able to perform orthodontics or implantology, a professional qualification is required, preferably from the Netherlands or a country recognized by the official institutes. To perform any other complex treatments, such as endodontics, prosthodontics, surgery, etc. you don’t need to be a specialist, but the dentist must have the knowledge and skills to be able to perform them.

No. There’s a shortage of dentists in all regions of the Netherlands, not only in the countryside. However, there are three dentistry universities in the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam, Nijmegen en Groningen.

Normally, we have fewer vacancies in these cities,  because the new graduates of these universities will most likely start working here. But outside of these areas, you could be placed anywhere, in cities or in the countryside.

Dutch people are open, communicative, and social people. However, they also value their privacy and time spent with their close ones.

You can expect that many people at work will be interested in getting to know you and learn more about your culture. Therefore, it is helpful to have an open attitude towards invitations for events, because that way you can make closer friends and have more regular meetings or party invitations. Inviting people to your house or asking them to go out for dinner is also a nice gesture they will appreciate. Just be aware to plan this in advance since Dutch people often have appointments already prearranged, leaving less room for spontaneity than in some other cultures.

In the beginning, you will probably have many friendships with expats. That’s quite common if you arrive here from another country. Maybe you are not immediately comfortable speaking Dutch outside the clinic and prefer to spend your time in a more international environment.  Most people have built friendships and relations in the country they are originally from, and that can be another reason why it might take more time to create new relations in a different country. Don’t let this put you off. It takes some time, but patience is the key to success.

As we have many BGB colleagues who started a new life in the Netherlands, the team has some experience with getting familiar with the Dutch culture.  Their advice is to sign up for games, sports, organizations of different interests or voluntary work, to eventually “become a Dutchie” and get to know more people.  It’s fun and odds are that you will feel more included.