Some Common Questions...
Q — Do I need Xrays? I’m worried about radiation.
A — At our clinic we're proud to offer new low-radiation Xrays, and the dosage of radiation is smaller than ever. There’s a lot of information that we gain from what we see on Xrays. In my opinion, the benefits of catching problems early before they are large enough to be visible to the naked eye, far outweigh any risks. A full panoramic Xray, and 4 bitewings would give you about 50 microsieverts of radiation, or about the amount of radiation you absorb from 6 days on Earth. How frequently you may need Xrays really depends on how well you take care of your teeth. For bitewings, I usually recommend every 1.5 years, and a Panoramic even less frequently.
Q — Do you use amalgam?
A -- Amalgam refers to the metal fillings that are held together in a mercury matrix. So yes, they contain mercury. I prefer not to use them, and at our clinic we provide thoroughly safe removal of them on request. Rarely, a white (composite) filling will not work. In these cases we look all options and the benefits vs risks. Some insurance companies will not cover the cost difference between a composite filling and an amalgam filling on molars.
Q — Do you charge less than other dentists?
A — The fees we charge for most procedures are set by the college of dental surgeons of BC. They are pretty much the same throughout Canada, with the exception of Alberta, which charges more. A couple of procedures, such as implants and invisalign are set by the office, but are comparable or less than most other offices.
Q — Do you take insurance?
A — We offer direct billing to your insurance carrier - you will simply pay any outstanding portion. If you require any work that your insurance will not cover, the dentist and front desk staff will always do our best to let you know in advance, so we can make a treatment plan that works for your budget. Please mention if you are a student or a senior so we can apply a discount.
Q — Are implants covered by my insurance?
A — While some providers are beginning to cover implants, most do not, probably because they are the costliest option upfront (though over time they are the most longlasting, and a cost benefit argument can easily be made). Usually the insurance company will cover a percentage of the crown that is placed on an implant and that is all. The best thing would be for people to start complaining to their insurance providers, and asking for implant coverage because the dental community has little power of influence when it comes to coverage.
Q — One of the most common questions we are asked is what is the difference between a certified dental assistant (CDA) and a registered dental hygienist (RDH).
A — Simply put, an assistant helps the dentist with procedures during the appointment, and a hygienist sees you independently and cleans your teeth before the dentist checks your teeth and Xrays.