As of 1 January 2022, clients can choose a public dental clinic (funded by the county) or a private dental clinic. Client charges will be the same. Dental clinics will be offering basic-level oral health services.
What services will be provided by dental clinics?
Services funded by counties and provided by oral health services units, in other words dental clinics, will include:
- oral disease prevention and advice
- oral health check-ups and oral hygiene plans
- oral and dental care and treatment of conditions, including periodontal diseases (gum diseases), dental fillings, infections and surgery
- medical imaging and
- dental prosthetic repairs.
In future, these services will also be available in different formats, when mobile and online services become more common.
The majority of specialised oral healthcare services and all demanding specialised treatment will be provided in unincorporated county enterprises, i.e. in public oral health services units or in hospitals. Unincorporated county enterprises can also grant their clients services vouchers. Clients can then choose which service provider they will use.
Clients can choose their dental clinic
If clients’ freedom of choice in health and social services will be expanded as proposed by the Government in their draft bill on freedom of choice on 19 October, clients can themselves choose which dental clinic they will use. The service provider can be public or private. Client charges will be the same at all service providers. The service providers must, however, be approved by the county, which means that a client cannot choose any dental clinic operating in the market.
In practice, clients sign up with the dental clinic of their choice. This takes place online or in writing. The commitment is made for a half year, which means that clients can change dental clinics every 6 months.
Clients can sign up with the oral health services unit of their choice as of October 2021, if not earlier. Data on all county residents who have not chosen a dental clinic will be entered into a database of the unincorporated county enterprise. If residents do not themselves choose a dental clinic by 1 January 2024, after that date they will receive the services from a dental clinic closest to them, depending on the decision made by the county. The dental clinic chosen by the county can be public or private.
If the dental clinic has several facilities in different parts of Finland, the client can visit any of them. Clients with a temporary residence in a different municipality because of work, studies or leisure activities, may visit some other service provider’s dental clinic if the dental clinic of their choice is not operating in the municipality.
Anne Nordblad, Ministerial Counsellor for Health/Medical Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 387