Dentists are respected. The dentistry sector is held in high regard in Holland, and the majority of the people have regular check-ups (every 6 months).
Great labour conditions. Being a dentist in the Netherlands does not just come with a good salary: clinic directors will be prepared to invest in your professional development.
High-quality dentistry. Dutch clinics like to adopt the latest technologies. Dentists also have a say in which materials they’d like to work with.
Good work atmosphere. The Dutch labour market in general is known for its lack of a strict hierarchy. In Holland, we favour personal responsibility over top-down control.
One big city. Holland is a compact country, meaning that everything is within reach. “In the middle of nowhere” doesn’t exist in the Netherlands.
A meritocratic society. Dutch society is free and open, and you are judged based on your achievements rather than where you come from. A lot of opportunities for dentists from abroad.
What are the steps you need to take?
Before you can migrate
1. Learn Dutch
True, everyone in the Netherlands can speak English, but as a dentist from abroad it is necessary that you are able to speak Dutch. After all, it is more convenient for the patient to be able to communicate in his own language while receiving treatment.
For your job, you require at least B2 level in the CEFR. In general, B2 can be reached with 500-600 learning hours. All dentists with a non-Dutch diploma who want to work in the Netherlands are required per government regulation to take a language test for dentists. In this test, your language skills, your patient communication, and your ability to present information to your peers will be evaluated. Only after passing this test will you be eligible to obtain BIG certification, which is necessary to work in a Dutch clinic unsupervised. Without this certfication, you may still work in a Dutch clinic, but only under supervision.
2. Get the documents
In recent years, it has become considerably easier to work in another European country. Still, there is quite an amount of bureaucracy you have to deal with before the road from your home country to a job in a Dutch clinic is cleared.
As healthcare professionals, dentists have to be included in the BIG register. In addition, they will have to retake an X-ray course (certificates from other countries are not accepted) and obtain liability insurance. Apart from this dentistry-related paperwork, there is also general documentation that needs to be taken care of. You will need to arrange health insurance, a house, a bank account and a social service number. It is also important to learn how to apply for the 30% ruling before you come to the Netherlands.
For more detailed info, read our article on all the paperwork you have to take care of before you can start working as a dentist in the Netherlands. You can go directly to the website of the BIG register by clicking here (Dutch).
3. Find work
Once you speak Dutch and are cleared to work in the Netherlands, you still have to find a suitable clinic. In the Dutch dentistry sector, there are more vacancies than candidates. Still, there are still a few things you should know about the job market.
While there are many vacancies, they are not spread evenly across the country. More job opportunities will be available in the East and North of the country than the West, where we find the metropolitan Randstad area. It is important that you are flexible in terms of where in the Netherlands you’re going to work and live. Especially if you want to live in a city such as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, finding a good job may take longer, and the salary might not be as high as in other parts of the country.
The website of the KNMT has a comprehensive list of dentistry vacancies, but it is in Dutch only.
4. Feel at home
After mastering the Dutch language, taking care of all the paperwork and finding work with a good dental clinic, a final, vital step still remains: to make sure you feel at home. Life in the Netherlands will be much easier if you feel comfortable.
Of course, feeling at home first and foremost requires you to find a good home. A good place to start is Funda, where you can find many houses and apartments for sale and for rent all across the Netherlands.
Properly settling, though, requires more than just a house. Dutch people mainly socialise through work and hobbies. So it is certainly recommended that you join a sports club or participate in other social activities to help you make new friends and feel at home in this new environment.
This final step is important because dentistry is a profession that benefits from long-term commitment. You want to develop an approach that best suits your patients and work with these patients towards the perfect smile over the course of many check-ups and treatments. To reach these goals and grow as a professional, a stable, enjoyable work environment is required. This is why it’s vital to feel comfortable with not just your work, but your life in the Netherlands in general.
What can BGB Dentistry do for you?
Our program in 6 steps
Punt 1 a
Meet BGB Dentistry
get in touch to discover your possibilities.
Learn Dutch with other dentists from Europe
at our academy in Seefeld, Austria.
Get all the paperwork arranged
so you won’t have to worry about bureaucracy.
You receive extra training about dentist protocols
to help you adjust to the Dutch working style.
We find you a job at the most suitable clinic
because we know the best employers.
We guide you extensively across 3.5 years
so you can really boost your career.
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