Manitoba Dental Fee Guide
Your oral health is a key component of your overall health; bad oral health can be a cause of everything from diabetes to heart disease, and a regular check-up with a dentist can help you spot signs of concern long before they develop into anything life-threatening. In Canada, healthcare is regulated by the provinces, so there are a few important things to know about when looking into dental care in Manitoba.
Each province and territory in Canada has a Dental Association. Dentistry in Manitoba is overseen by the Manitoba Dental Association, which gets its power from an Act of Government, and has a government-appointed member on its board. It produces a suggested fee guide for dentists each year drawing upon on-going economic research. The fee guide is based on an average theoretical general dental practice in Manitoba. It is one tool used by dentists to help them arrive at their own specific fees for service. Dentists are required to pass stringent exams, and there is a myriad of licensing requirements which include continuing education to ensure your dentist is up to date with the latest trends in oral health. The Association maintains a database of professionals, so you can verify the standing of your practitioner.
Many medical treatments are covered by Manitoba Health; dentistry, generally speaking, is not. This means you’ll need a private insurer to acquire dental insurance; alternatively, you can pay out of pocket yourself. The exception is found in oral surgery; should you find yourself hospitalized, and in need of such a surgery, Manitoba Health may well pay the costs.
Most dental plans pay up to the amount listed in the fee guide. Many plans will increase the reimbursement for specialist fees, but not necessarily up to the full amount charged. Before you have any dental services performed, it is a good idea to determine whether your dentist charges according to the pertinent fee guide. If your dentist charges over the fee guide:
What is a Dental Fee Guide?
Each provincial dental association says that the dentist prices listed in their fee guide are ONLY suggested dentist fees and are not obligatory. Federal competition laws prohibit price-fixing, so definitive fees for services can’t be set. But you may find almost all dentists in Manitoba following the fee guide established by the Manitoba Dental Association because dental insurance companies pay the dentist price listed in the fee guide. All dental fee guides in Canada are the same:
Manitoba dental fees are among the lowest in Canada while Alberta, which came out with its first fee guide since 1997 on Friday, is 20-64% higher, and the highest in Canada.
Why is the Dental Fee Guide Essential?
While dentists in Manitoba are not obligated to follow the dental fee guide when setting the prices for their services, such a document is essential because it:
What Are Dental Codes?
Every procedure, every appliance, and every exam has a specific code. For example, you may have had a recall exam, where your dentist checks for cavities; some scaling, where the hygienist scrapes plaque off your teeth; and some polishing. These are dental codes that are found in your province’s dental fee guide. Dentists use these codes to record how long they spent cleaning or which type of filling they used.
It may seem mysterious, but every line denotes a specific service, and it’s kind of neat to see your visit translated into different codes.
Note that not all procedures are listed as professional fees. These services’ cost varies based on the associated lab costs and depends upon the complexity of the treatment required. We encourage you to call our office to arrange a visit with one of our dentists to evaluate your oral health and your teeth’ condition so that we can provide a more accurate estimate.
How do Dental Fees Work?
Each province has its own fee guide. Province to province, some of the codes are the same, but Manitoba has distinctly different codes than Ontario or British Columbia. Some plans may even state that they will pay according to a specific province’s fee guide. For example, if you live in Manitoba, but your dentist is in Ontario, your claim may only pay according to Manitoba's fee guide. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop seeing your dentist in Ontario; it just means that your claim will be converted to Manitoba's codes, eligible at Manitoba rates.
What Can Patients Do?
If you understand the dental fee guidelines in Manitoba and wish to know how things work at your dentists’, talk to your dentist. Discuss all of your treatment options with your dentists and the associated costs before proceeding with treatment.
Ask if your dental office follows the suggested fee guide. A dental office may bill some or all codes based on the recommended fee guide. Check with your dentist to make sure you are clear about your treatment costs before proceeding. Request a written estimate for complex procedures. Because dentists charge different prices, you may wish to shop around.
To avoid unexpected costs:
Manitobans need great dental care in order to keep them happy and healthy. Get in touch with us so we can create a plan for your oral health. We’ll make sure your smile looks it’s best, and that you have as many reasons to use it as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it necessary to know the dental prices in Manitoba?
Knowing dentist prices in Manitoba can save you about 10% on your total dental costs. Knowing the difference between dentist prices and dental costs will save you about 50% of your total dental costs!
2. Why Does My Dentist Charge More than the Provincial Fee Guide?
There is no requirement for dentists in Manitoba to charge the suggested fees outlined in the dental fee guides. Dentists determine costs for their office based on the factors influencing their practice.
3. How Can I Be Sure My Dentist Is Charging a Fair Price?
You may want to review a copy of the Manitoba Fee Guide to determine how your dentist’s fees compare to the guide’s suggested fees. Keep in mind that a dentist’s fees are left to their discretion; they are not required to use the Manitoba Fee Guide.
4. How can I find a new dentist?
The Office of the Registrar of the Manitoba Dental Association cannot provide referrals to dentists. You may need to check with the different dental offices to inquire if they are accepting new patients. Ask your friends to see if they are aware of dentists who may be accepting new patients.
5. Can a dentist dismiss me as a patient?
Yes, a dentist can dismiss you as a patient. However, the dentist shall not discontinue that care without having first given notice of that intention and shall endeavour to arrange for continuity of care with colleagues.
6. Can I get an estimate for treatment before going to the dentist?
Treatment recommendations are developed by the dentist, beginning with an examination of the mouth. The dentist will examine you, review your health history, and discuss any symptoms or concerns you may be experiencing. If your dentist identifies an issue in your mouth, they will discuss this with you along with their treatment recommendations. Plus, you can any time refer to Manitoba Dental Fee Guide easily available online.