Dental clinics must adhere to strict regulatory standards to ensure a high standard of patient safety and care. Dentists essentially operate mini hospitals and are responsible for a number of costs related to providing dental care.
Talk to your dentist. Discuss all of your treatment options with your dentist and the associated costs before proceeding with treatment. Ask if your dental office follows the suggested fee guide.
Dental specialists receive additional training in a particular field of dentistry. They bring a high level of expertise to treatment provided within their specialty. General practice dentists will refer patients where a specialist's care is required.
Treatment recommendations are developed by the dentist beginning with an examination of the mouth. The dentist will examine the patient, review their health history, and discuss any symptoms the patient may be experiencing.
Most dental plans cover only a specific percentage of the cost of eligible dental treatment services (services included in the plan); the patient is responsible for the remainder along with any costs not covered by the plan.
Dual coverage is when you are covered by two separate dental plans, such as your own plan and a spouse's or a partner’s. It is likely that one plan provides the primary coverage while the second provides some additional support.
Individual plan: If you have and/or are purchasing a private dental plan ask the dental plan provider about available plans outlining what they will cover and for what you will be responsible.
Many dental plan carriers use the British Columbia Dental Association's suggested fee guide as a reference to determine plan coverage. They choose treatment services and base the percentage of plan coverage on the fees outlined in the guide.
Dental plans are selected by the plan purchaser, usually as part of a group benefits plan. Many plans will cover a range of diagnostic (examination) and preventive services (scaling, polishing).
If you do not benefit from a dental plan provided by your employer you may wish to consider purchasing a dental plan to help offset some of the costs of care. This is particularly valuable in accessing preventive services.