Dos and Don’ts
Comparing your individual dental situation to another person’s situation is understandable, but not realistic. Each person’s mouth is as unique as a fingerprint; no two mouths are the same. When a person comes in for as exam we respond to their particular needs and our diagnosis and recommended treatment is highly individualized.
Comparing costs is also not realistic. The price for a crown for one person may actually have included an associated tooth buildup, root canal therapy or other more involved treatment compared to that of a straightforward crown in another patient. Most dental care providers in Ontario follow the suggested Ontario Fee Guide which is a reference of suggested fees for dental services that is updated annually, although they are obligate to follow it. Specialists fees are usually higher than this fee guide.
A more exact way to do a comparative cost/service comparison is to actually know all the procedures carried out and their respective procedure codes using the costs from the same year’s fee guide.
When you are seeking to lower the price of your dental treatment by way of discount it is important to consider a few important factors.
Discounted fees and Insurance – In Ontario, if a dentist to waive your deductible or co-payments then they have extended a discount to you. If you intend to submit a claim of treatment and fees to your insurance provider that same discount must be disclosed to your insurer by law. It is a serious offence to knowingly mislead you insurer as to the actual cost of your treatment and they are entitled to demand to see proof that you paid your portion. if a dentist is willing to waive ethics and the law aside, it is not unreasonable to question whether they would also “cut corners” with your dental care.
Dental Tourism – You may now someone who successfully combined a holiday and dental treatment. It important, however, that you consider the risks and do your research before you opt for this growing trend. In some countries, it may be very difficult to ensure that your are being treated by an appropriately trained and qualified health practitioner who adheres to the same strict protocols concerning sterilization, safe/regulated dental materials/supplies and continuing education that is expected of dental providers in Canada. Be aware also that you may not have any legal recourse should your treatment fail or prove to be of questionable workmanship.
Discussing Fees – It is important to feel free to discuss what is included in the treatment price. You will likely want to have an itemized list with treatment procedures and fees and whether the quote falls within typical price ranges. Do the dentist expect and will there be any fees for follow-up visits/adjustments/complications? What does the dentist consider the long-term prognosis of a condition to be? Is there a warranty and what does it cover? What, if any, post treatment complications should you be aware of and what will be the associated fees? Sometimes the treatment is of an urgent nature and you may feel pressured to make a decision. Although it may be difficult to anticipate all the questions that should be asked, having a list ready may help you in the decision making process.