Nova Scotia Dental Fee Guide
Like any business owner, dentists must pay for the full costs of running their business. These costs can include everything from rent, to staff salaries, to treatment costs and dental equipment and supplies. These costs can vary depending on many factors like location, the size of the practice and the number of staff. These variables may be reflected in the fees charged to an individual patient for service. Dentists have to consider countless factors when determining their fees. Operating costs will vary between dental offices as well as provincially. But since 2016, fixed dental fee guides are being introduced in all the states and provinces of Canada in order to bring about a standardized pricing pattern.
Each province and territory in Canada has a Dental Association. In this province, the Nova Scotia Dental Association (NSDA) is responsible for defining and managing the dental fees in the whole of Nova Scotia. The NSDA 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 Nova Scotia. It is one tool used by dentists to help them arrive at their own specific fees for service.
A Little About Dental Fee Guide
Each provincial dental association says that the dentist prices listed in their fee guide are ONLY suggested dentist fees and that these fees 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 Nova Scotia following the fee guide established by NSDA because dental insurance companies pay the dentist price listed in the fee guide. All dental fee guides in Canada are the same:
A dental fee guide is like a menu in a restaurant. At a restaurant, you have each of the food items listed with the price. In a dental fee guide, you have each dental procedure listed with the dentist’s price. However, in a restaurant, you are in control of your total cost for the meal as you are the one ordering the food. At a dental office, it is the dentist that is recommending what should be done and hence the total dental cost of your dental visits does not depend on dentist prices, it depends on how aggressive your dentist is. Knowing dentist prices 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!
Why is the Dental Fee Guide Essential?
While dentists are not obligated to follow the dental fee guide when setting the prices for their services, such a document is essential because it:
How is the Fee Guide for Dentists in Nova Scotia Developed?
The suggested dental fee guide is a resource tool for our members and a reference document for outside groups such as the dental insurance industry. It’s built on the particular costs of practice and the realities of the provincial economy. The fee guide is based on an average theoretical general dental practice in Nova Scotia. Individual dentists then use it in their own planning to arrive at their specific fees.
A Quick Overview of Dental Fees in Nova Scotia
As of 2020, here are the basic dental charges defined by NSDA. You can refer to these prices to decide if your dentist is charging you appropriately or not.
Do Not Let Insurance Companies Dictate Your Treatment
Insurance companies sell plans to your employer. Your employer offers you this plan as a benefit – a bonus for all your hard work. It is the employer that purchased the plan. Some plans are better than others. These plans may be based on suggested fee guides of past years – not the current year. The plans may not cover the work that YOU need. The dentist plans your treatment based on your NEED, not on what your insurance covers. If the recommended treatment is not completed, you could lose your teeth, ultimately. Thus, it is recommended that you think of your plan as a coupon for dental treatment. Some coupons are good for some things and not for others. Some coupons cover the full cost, sometimes they only cover a portion of the cost. Either way they are a benefit to have most times.
We are committed to providing high quality dental care for the most affordable price! Our team of dentists and hygienists have years of experience and are passionate about providing comfortable care to you and your family. Our office follows the Nova Scotia Fee Guide standard pricing system. This means that your dental work will cost the exact same as the majority of other dental offices! You wont pay a penny more than the fee guide, allowing you to have the best dental care at the most affordable cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Does My Dentist Charge More than the Provincial Fee Guide?
There is no requirement for dentists in Nova Scotia to charge the suggested fees outlined in the dental fee guides. Dentists determine costs for their office based on the factors influencing their practice
2. How Can I Be Sure My Dentist Is Charging a Fair Price?
You may want to review a copy of Nova Scotia Dental Fee Guide to determine how your dentist’s fees compare to the suggested fees in the guide. Keep in mind that a dentist’s fees are left to their discretion; they are not required to use the Nova Scotia Fee Guide.
3. Can Dentists Bill My Insurance Company?
Yes, provided the dentists have previously confirmed applicable insurance coverage is in place. Contact your insurance provider for a comprehensive description of covered services and claim processes.
4. Can The Dentist Get My Insurance Information For Me?
No. The privacy laws governing both the dental practice and insurance providers limit your dentist’s ability to access or request specific details about your policy coverage. Insurance companies do not have a legal obligation to provide us with thorough or accurate information about a patient’s coverage.
5. Why Do Dentists Provide/Offer Procedures That Are Not Covered?
Dentists in Nova Scotia are responsible for providing you with the best clinical care and treatment options with your health concerns in mind. Dentists do not know with complete certainty which procedures will be covered. If dentists base their treatment options on the limitations of insurance coverage, they will not be able to provide you with the quality dental care you deserve.
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 Nova Scotia Dental Fee Guide easily available online.