» Will my insurance cover that?
For all basic procedures we follow the suggested fee guide that the BC Dental Association sets. This is the same fee guide that the most major insurance plans follow. The amount covered by your insurance company may be affected by such factors such as annual limits of coverage or treatment, reduced coverage for certain procedures, and/or the ability to deny coverage at any time they choose. Due to the Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA), many insurance companies will not allow dental offices to contact them inquiring about plan information. Ultimately it is your responsibility to know the details of what your insurance covers, but we do our best to help you with the information we are provided with.
We would like to remind you that while your insurance does cover much of the cost of the dental services we provide, insurance plans are not set up to cover everything. In fact, most insurance plans do not consider what is needed to maintain your optimum dental and oral health. As your dental care provider, we believe it is our responsibility to provide you with the best care possible, regardless of your insurance restrictions. Your insurance coverage is a contract between you the patient and the insurance carrier, therefore you are responsible for paying the difference between our fees for the services provided and what your insurance pays for. In some cases, the patient pays in full and is reimbursed by their insurance. In all cases payment is due at the time of treatment.
» Can my Insurance be directly billed?
In most cases if we have all the information about your insurance plan, we can bill your insurance directly. We submit forms for insurance claims on your behalf, and as a courtesy to our patients, we can accept direct payment from your insurance carrier; however, if your insurance is negligent in paying the account, we will send you a statement for the outstanding amount. We accept the right to approve or deny your insurance. Ultimately, you are responsible for your insurance information and any charges on your account.
» Do you charge regular fees put out by the College of Dental Surgeons?
In our office we follow the fee guide put out by the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia for basic procedures. This is updated annually on February 1 each year. Major treatment such as crowns, bridges, and denture work is charged independent of the fee guide, but remains competitive among other offices in our area.
» Do you offer whitening? Is it safe for my enamel?
Our office offers several options for whitening the teeth that are all very effective and safe for enamel. We can make custom whitening trays which are filled with a gel whitening formula and done at home by the patient. We offer professional strength white strips that the patient can take and use anywhere, and finally we offer internal bleaching in office for teeth that have had root canal therapy and have turned dark or grey over time. Patient’s that have root recession may experience sensitivity during and after any whitening session. Patient’s should be aware that once teeth are whitened, high staining foods such as red wine, tea, red sauces, and smoking will discolor teeth over time, so teeth will require periodic maintenance to keep white.
» Why do I need a crown?
You may have broken your tooth to such a point where a simple filling may not provide enough support to the remaining tooth structure. You may have an extremely large filling in place that diminishes the integrity of the tooth causing fracture lines. You may have had a root canal therapy which devitalizes the tooth resulting in brittle teeth that are susceptible to fracture. All of these instances are valid reasons why you may require a crown to fully restore a certain tooth, and to make sure it can withstand the forces of chewing.
» My tooth feels better, why do I need a Root Canal?
Although you may have been prescribed an antibiotic to help with the pain and possible swelling of your infection, the chronic infection stills remains in the site, and will return at a later date usually far worse than the original episode. Root canal therapy will clean out the necrotic (dead) tissue from inside the canals (roots), and will be sealed from inside the tooth. A final filling is placed inside the tooth and is usually recommended to have a crown placed to fully restore the tooth. Once this procedure is completed, slowly over time the body heals the infected site.
» Do amalgam fillings have mercury in them?
Although amalgam fillings do contain mercury, it is amalgamated with other metals and is perfectly safe in this solid form.
» How much radiation do I get from dental x-rays?
We use digital radiography at our office and this results in 90 % less radiation than with traditional x-ray film. Potentially, you could get more radiation from the sun, or from fluorescent lighting than you get from dental x-rays. As a safety precaution, all patients are covered by a lead apron to minimize radiation exposure.
» How will a night guard help with my chronic headaches and TMJ?
A night guard will slightly open the joints relieving the pressure and stress placed on the joints and the teeth due to clenching and grinding. Some patients don’t realize that they clench or grind, and may be doing it subconsciously. Often times the teeth will show signs of wear to confirm.
» I’m missing my tooth, what are my options?
Whether you are missing one tooth, or several, there are many options to help fill the spaces back in. Each case is unique, and some options may not work for you. If you are missing only one or two teeth, a dental implant is a great option to fill the space without having to change the integrity of any of the neighboring teeth. It is a titanium screw that is surgically placed in the bone and once integrated acts like an independent tooth. Another option is a bridge which involves reducing both teeth that are adjacent to the space to make room for a lab constructed prosthesis that is permanently cemented in place. This option looks like three teeth in a row all joined together. The center tooth is called the pontic and fills the missing space. Another option is a partial denture which is sometimes favorable for patients who need to fill the space for several teeth, with the option to add more teeth to it as need be over time. All of the options have pros and cons and should be fully discussed with your dentist before you make a decision.