Considering that good dental care can impact your overall health and wellness, it is important that you take good care of your teeth. Given the high costs of oral care, it is understandable that you’re hesitant about going to the dentist or taking family members for regular checkups. In case you need affordable dental care, you can consider getting insurance coverage for some of the costs and paying the balance on your own.

The Government of Alberta has several programs to help people get low-income dental care in Calgary. In the year 2018, the Alberta Dental Association and College released the first dental fee guide to help consumers understand the approximate costs of getting oral procedures. As a result, dental care costs have dropped by 8.5%. These numbers are a significant improvement considering that Alberta had the highest dental fees in the country. Here’s some information to help you find an affordable dentist in Calgary.

Adopt Preventive Care to Avoid the Need for Dental Procedures

Even as you search around for a cheap dentist, know that it is possible to avoid high dental costs. A simple solution is to take good care of your teeth by maintaining proper dental hygiene. For instance,

  • Brush and floss at least twice daily and use good quality, effective oral care products.
  • Your oral hygienist will advise you how to remove the buildup of plaque on your tongue. Use a soft brush or stainless-steel tongue scraper to remove the white film on the tongue. In this way, you can prevent bacteria and debris from accumulating and causing bad breath.
  • Visiting a professional for regular checkups allows the dentist to detect small problems at the onset. Some issues can develop into bigger ailments and make it necessary to get expensive procedures.
  • Investing in regular professional teeth cleaning will prevent caries that need more extensive care.
  • Eating the right diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is the perfect preventive solution. Inculcate the habit of chewing food properly in your kids. And, restrict the number of soft drinks, sweetened juices, and candy your family eats.
  • Smoking results in lowered blood supply to the tissues in the mouth and raises your chances of getting decay. Quitting the habit is essential for maintaining overall dental health.

Compare Dental Fees When Looking for a Cheap Dentist

Checking through the Alberta dental fee guide can give you an overview of the costs of oral care. However, know that the figures are only an estimate and not mandatory. Accordingly, you can compare the fee structure offered by different clinics and find an affordable dentist in Calgary. Each facility will likely have different charges, so ask around for quotes from two or more clinics. Getting a second (and, possibly, third) opinion can reassure you that the procedure is actually necessary. Our doctors at Macleod Trail can advise you on alternatives and what you can do to lower costs. Do your homework before picking out a clinic, which is suitable low-income dental care. Though, paying high charges does not necessarily mean that you’ll get expert dental care. You might want to read reviews from past patients for a better overview of the standard of care.

Ask Around About Easy Payment Options

Our professionals are committed to providing patients with the best oral treatment. For this reason, you can request for flexible payment options to help you cover the expense.

  • Talk to the doctor about options like clearing payment in installments.
  • Ask for discounts and if it is possible to cover the entire payment at one go.
  • Discuss the coverage provided by your insurance company. Ask if it possible for the clinic to collect payment directly from the provider by way of direct insurance billing. In this way, you can eliminate the need to pay cash.
  • An affordable dentist in Calgary may suggest that you delay getting procedures until a time when absolutely necessary or when it suits you. Like, for instance, in case you need a wisdom tooth removal.
  • If you need fillings, you can opt for materials that are cheaper and lower the total cost of the treatment. For instance, get metal fillings that are more durable and cheaper. Molars and back teeth are not visible so you won’t have to worry about the filling looking unsightly.

Take into Account Additional Costs

When searching for a cheap dentist, you’ll want to factor in the hidden overheads that can raise the final costs. Spend time asking the professionals at the clinic a series of questions. For instance:

  • Do I need the procedure right away, or can I delay it for some time? Can the problem worsen if I don’t get treatment right away?
  • Can I request for any discounts on the total fee?
  • Do you follow the fee guide laid down by the Alberta government? How do your charges compare to the guide?
  • What are the additional charges for diagnostic tests like x-rays, blood tests, or any other?
  • How many appointments will I need for this procedure? How many aftercare sittings will I have to come for?
  • What can I do to maintain the effects of the procedure?

Finalize your choice of an affordable dentist in Calgary after thinking about considerations such as:

  • Travel time to the dental clinic from your workplace or home
  • Clinic timings and if they match your schedule. Check if you can take time off work when scheduling an appointment
  • Your comfort levels with the doctor and if you feel confident after having your questions answered
  • Recommendations by friends and family members
  • Years of experience, training, and credentials of the professionals at the practice
  • Your understanding of the details of the procedure needed

As a patient, keep in mind that the costs of dental treatment can vary over time. The dentist may find that the problem is more severe than the initial estimate and needs more extensive treatment. For this reason, expect that the professional at the clinic for low-income dental care can only give you a rough overview. This estimate depends on the first examination of your teeth and gums.

Several Variables Can Affect the Fees Charged by the Dentist

A dental clinic is like a mini hospital and carries a wide range of costs when providing care to patients. In your search for an affordable dentist in Calgary, you’ll learn that several variables can affect the final costs of care. Here are some of them:

  • State-of-the-art equipment necessary for providing the best of treatment, these tools and machines are often expensive and need maintenance
  • Observing strict protocols to maintain sterilization in the clinic to provide safety and prevent the risk of infections
  • Laboratory fees in case the dentist needs to order additional tests or say, customized crowns after a dental implant procedure.
  • Having a team of trained staff members who have the necessary licensing to provide knowledgeable assistance to the dentist and doctors on board
  • Overhead costs for maintaining the practice including rent and utilities
  • Expertise needed for the kind of treatment you need and if the problem is complicated

Dentists must consider all these factors when providing you an estimate on the costs to expect for the treatment. For this reason, finding an affordable dentist in Calgary may take you some time and research.

How Insurance Coverage Affects Dental Costs

As a citizen of Alberta, you can register for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. This plan entitles you to basic medical care including oral and maxillofacial surgery. Accordingly, you can get coverage for procedures like removing cysts, getting bone grafts, and surgery in the jaw or oral joints. The federal government also provides assistance to physically challenged people, children, and seniors needing low-income dental care. You can check around for the programs available to patients who meet certain criteria. The prime considerations are income levels and whether or not you’re receiving health care assistance from other government programs. Your secondary insurance provider covers other procedures related to your teeth.

How to Find a Cheap Dentist for Seniors

When considering your options for an affordable dentist in Calgary for senior family members, you’re probably aware that the elderly need more care than other patients. Accordingly, the government has instituted the Dental & Optical Assistance for Seniors Program. To take advantage of the benefits, patients must meet conditions like:

  • Be a resident of Alberta for a minimum of 3 months
  • Be a a citizen of Canada or permanent resident
  • Of age 65 years and more
  • Having an income within the brackets specified. The percentage of coverage rises as income levels drop. For instance, seniors with an income of $28,150 and below can get 100% coverage up to $230. However, those with an income of above $31,675 cannot qualify for assistance.
  • Marital status – the combined income of the senior couple is taken into consideration. For instance, elderly couples with an income of $56,300 and below can get complete coverage up to $230. But, if they have an income of above $63,350, they cannot get assistance.

At the time of bringing an elderly family member to the cheap dentist in Calgary, remember to put down the personal health number. Also, inform the receptionist that the patient is a senior so they can process your appointment. Many clinics allow direct insurance billing. Patients only need to pay for the costs and fees above the limit set down by the insurance provider. Thanks to this facility, you won’t need to spend time filling out paperwork and submitting it for compensation.

How to Find a Cheap Dentist for Kids

Parents looking for an affordable dentist in Calgary and can apply for assistance under the Alberta Child Health Benefits program. Your kids must fulfill certain conditions to apply. Here are some of them:

  • Kids should be aged 18 or 19 years and below
  • Kids should be in high school and living with their parents

In case you’re applying for benefits under the program, you’ll have to show that the family has qualifying income levels. The benefits slab may vary according to the number of members. And, whether or not you’re receiving assistance under any other government program. Other typical criteria include being a resident of Alberta and a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Changing circumstances can also entitle you to help. For instance, a family member could be recently diagnosed as having diabetes or any other illness. If the ailment requires the purchase of expensive medicines for long-term care, you can qualify for the program.

The Alberta Child Health Benefits Program ensures that your kids get basic dental care. The procedures covered can prevent the possibility of problems as kids grow older. Take your children for:

  • Regular examinations of the teeth and gums
  • Cleaning to remove the buildup of plaque
  • Diagnostic tests like X-rays
  • Getting fillings or tooth extractions

Don’t Let Dental Costs Get in the Way of Oral Health

Taking care of your teeth is important for maintaining overall, long-term health. Search for an affordable dentist in Calgary and make sure you come in for regular appointments. Follow the instructions of the professional and you can avoid severe problems in the long run.

Stop by at our Macleod Trail Dental clinic and we’ll provide you all the information you need. Ask about the options we have for we’ll provide you all the information you need. Also, inquire about the possibility of flexible payments and direct insurance billing. Fill your contact information on our form on the website and we’ll provide you all the information you need. You can also choose to call us at this number: (403) 253-1248 and talk to our representatives.

References:

  1. Dental fees in Alberta
  2. Health care services covered in Alberta
  3. New guide recommends dental fees in Alberta drop 8.5%
  4. Alberta Child Health Benefit 

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calgary dentist jen silver

Dr. Jennifer Silver is one of the top dental surgeons practicing in Calgary, Alberta using an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to helping her patients. She believes in offering expert advice and make recommendations to patients just as she would to a family member. Dr. Silver collaborates with a large network of specialists and taps into their expertise to provide holistic care.

Dr. Jennifer Silver has earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her academic qualifications include deans honours list, an oral surgery award and best research project. Before attaining this degree, she graduated with honors from Dalhousie University’s Dental Hygiene Program and worked in the sphere of dentistry for 10 years. Dr. Silver is currently helping patients with dental issues such as TMJ pain and sleep apnea in addition to dentistry. She is keenly interested in constantly upgrading her skills and hopes to gain additional training in oral surgery in the future.