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How to Pick the Best Dentist in Calgary

It was back in 2016 when the media broke the news – Alberta dental fees were the highest in Canada. For more than 40 common procedures, patients were footing over 40 per cent more of the bill than in any other province.
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It’s been five years since this report. Where do things stand now and what does this mean for choosing the best dentist in Calgary?

Strong Recommendations for Change from the Alberta Dental Association and College

It didn’t take long for the Alberta Dental Association and College to take action on the report. By 2018 two new fee guides surfaced. The first recommended dentists drop their fees by 3 per cent. Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said that was not enough and asked the College to try again. The second fee guide recommended an average drop of 8.5 per cent from 2016’s fees.

There is More to the Issue

But for dentists across the province, the initial report and the recommendations from the College did not tell the whole story. Although Alberta Heath Services provides robust support for hospitalizations and general patient care, dentistry is not covered by the province. The only time it may be covered is as the result of a catastrophic accident or medical incident that happens to affect the teeth, gums, and jaw (such as a car accident). This is, largely, not a government subsidized field in Alberta.

Further, a study into why the fees in Alberta were high revealed that in Edmonton it costs an average of 70 per cent more in overhead to run a practice. These higher numbers in the Capital City help push the overall statistics for the province.

The latest fee guide and its recommendations are not mandatory. Each dental practice can set the fees they deem fit. Yet, choosing the best dentist in Calgary is not a simple matter of asking, “are you following the Alberta fee guide?”

Choosing the Best Dentist in Calgary

Dental care is necessary as oral health impacts your overall health. It is also ongoing, making establishing a relationship with your dentist very important. Just as your family doctor gets to know you and helps manage your long-term health, your family dentist helps you from cleaning to dentures and everything in between. Choosing the best dentist in Calgary helps you enjoy a long-term relationship that meets your oral health needs now and into the future.

Yes, you can ask about the dental fee guide. Cost is important when choosing the best dentist in Calgary, especially if you do not have health benefits. However, also look for how long the practice has been serving the community, if they offer a full suite of services, if cosmetic dentistry is also available on site, how COVID-19 protocols are enforced, the level of positive reviews, if direct billing is available, if financing is available, and the experience of the dentists and hygienists. Also, look for dentists that have services particular to your needs. Children’s Dental Health Centre works specifically with infants/children to get them on the right oral care path long-term. The YYC Denture Clinic focuses on custom, affordable dentures.

The best dentist in Calgary respects you, your budget, and their profession. When you choose the dental office that is fully invested in patient care on all fronts, you have found the best dentist in Calgary. Regardless of which province has the highest fees, choose the best dentist in Calgary by looking at the whole picture and each dental office’s standard of care.