Document and Entity Information - shares
9 Months Ended
Sep. 29, 2018
Oct. 29, 2018
Document and Entity Information [Abstract]    
Document Type 10-Q  
Document Period End Date Sep. 29, 2018  
Amendment Flag false  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q3  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2018  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-29  
Entity Central Index Key 0001000228  
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes  
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer  
Trading Symbol HSIC  
Entity Registrant Name HENRY SCHEIN INC  
Entity Emerging Growth Company false  
Entity Small Business false  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   152,437,680