Dental costs in Alberta, on average, are the highest rates across all of Canada. For the first time in 20 years, the Alberta Dental Association and College have released a dental fee guide. This new guide comes into effect on January 1st, 2018 and will be updated annually. The 2018 Alberta dental fee guide includes recommended fees that are 8.5% lower compared to the rates from 2016. This guide is mainly used to help patients find a dentist, dentists to determine their fees, and for insurers to set their coverage levels. The main goal of this dental fee guide is to increase transparency and encourage competition to rein in their costs over time, which will hopefully save you more money in the future. It should be noted that the fees found within the dental guide are recommended, but they aren’t mandatory. At the end of the day, the price that dentists charge for their services is solely up to them. A dentist could charge more or less than what the Alberta dental guide recommends. When looking for a dentist in Alberta, you should shop around and compare prices for the procedures you need done before you ultimately make your final decision.
How to use the Alberta dental fee Guide
When you go around to different dentists, take the recommended fees from the dental guide and compare them to what the dentist is charging. The Alberta dental guide includes the following information so you can properly compare:
1) A list and description of all dental procedures,
2) The code that dentists use to identify procedures, and
3) The suggested fees. Each year when the new Alberta dental guide kicks in, there will be an adjustment period where the insurance companies and dentists adapt to the new guide. If you are insured, you may have to pay more out of pocket during that time frame.
If you want to avoid any unexpected costs when a new guide is set every year you should:
1) Compare your dentist’s fees with the new Alberta dental fee guide,
2) Contact your insurance company how much you are covered and the amount of money you are required to pay, and 3) ask your dentist to send a pre-authorization to the insurance company you are with.
Finding the right dentist
When it comes to finding the right dentist for your oral health care, you have a few options to pursue. If you already have a dentist, talk to them and ask about the services and procedures that you need, ask how much they charge and compare it to the Alberta dental fee guide. If they charge more, ask if they can lower it to match the guide. If they won’t, shop around for a new dentist. If you are shopping around for a new dentist, give Dr. Jason Harvey a call! As the world of dentistry evolves, we pride ourselves on keeping on top of the most current technologies to give you the best oral health care possible. If you have any questions about our procedures or to see if we match the Alberta dental fee guide, give us a call at 780-435-2888!