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What is the Alberta Dental Fee Guide & Why is It Important?

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The Alberta Dental Association, which regulates dentists in the province, introduced a fee guide in 2019 to help outline and control the increasing cost of dental services. The Alberta Dental Fee Guide gives the recommended price for various dental treatments, from dental cleanings to oral surgery.

In 2023, dental fees in Alberta saw an increase, as stated in the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. Most insurance plans automatically adjust their dental coverage to align with the guidelines set by the Alberta Dental Association to cover your dental expenses appropriately. Shawnessy Dental Centre follows the Alberta Dental Fee Guide so you can plan ahead with fewer surprises.

What Is the Alberta Dental Fee Guide?

The Alberta Dental Fee Guide is a document that outlines the prices for dental services in the province. It’s released and updated by the Alberta Dental Association every year on January 1.

There are 3 central guides:

  • The abbreviated guide provides a brief overview of prices and services for the general public.
  • The general dentist guide provides a detailed description of the costs for general dentistry services like exams and cleanings.
  • The dental specialist guide provides a detailed description of prices for dental specialties like periodontics and orthodontics.

On the Alberta Dental Association’s website, you can find the previous year’s fee guides if you’re interested in seeing the exact changes.

Why Is the Alberta Dental Fee Guide Important?

The Dental Fee Guide helps regulate and control dental prices for all Albertans. That means you can:

  • Estimate costs and insurance coverage
  • Compare prices across dental providers
  • Choose the right dental provider for your needs

When your dentist follows the fee guide, it increases transparency and helps you avoid unexpected dental costs.

Important Notes About the Alberta Dental Fee Guide

The Fee Guide Is Not Mandatory

Not all dentists in Alberta follow the fee guide. Some dentists may charge more, while others can charge less. It’s ultimately up to each individual dental practice whether they choose to follow the guide or not.

The Fee Guide May Not Reflect Your Treatment 

Even if your dentist follows the guide, your individual needs and treatment costs may differ. When the fee guide is updated on January 1, make sure that you check:

  • If your dentist follows the guide
  • The most up-to-date guide
  • The costs of your individual treatment

You can always ask your dentist to explain the costs of your services. Most dentists also offer quotes for more involved procedures, and your insurance plan may allow you to submit a predetermination request to confirm that the services are covered under your plan.

The Cost of Avoiding Treatment

The cost of treatment should never prevent you from getting the dental care you need. Untreated dental issues can develop into more serious problems like gum disease, severe tooth decay, and other health issues. In some cases, avoiding treatment can cost more in the long-term and require invasive procedures.

Remember that as a dental patient, you have the right to:

  • Know how much services cost
  • Contact dentists to compare prices
  • Choose a dentist based on price

Your dentist should be willing to discuss fees, answer questions, and explain the costs of your treatment. If not, you are free to find another dentist who meets your needs.

What to Do If You Can’t Afford Dental Treatment

Many dentists offer dental financing to help you pay for your treatments. Some may offer 0% financing to help you get the treatment you need.

If you can’t afford your treatment, even with financing, the Government of Alberta offers several support options for Albertans with low income:

Many organizations provide low-cost or free dental care to those in need, including the Alberta Health Services Dental Clinic or The Alex Health Program in Calgary.

Get Transparent Dental Care in Calgary

At Shawnessy Dental Centre, we adhere to the Alberta Dental Fee Guide, so you don’t have to worry about the unknown costs of your dental treatments. By being transparent with our fees and services, we hope to empower you to understand your dental care and why it’s so important to maintain a healthy mouth.

Don’t let dental fees be the reason you avoid going to the dentist. If you have questions about the cost of your treatment, contact Shawnessy Dental Centre and address your dental concerns before they worsen.

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