We do not advocate the removal of existing amalgams solely based on safety concerns, as this is always a personal choice that a patient can make. However, when they need to be replaced, we only use white (composite) fillings. Exposure to mercury is highest when the fillings are initially placed (that is one of the reasons that we do not use them) and when they are removed. We always use rubber dam isolation to minimize mercury exposure when removing old amalgam fillings.
There are many conditions and anomalies which appear only on x-rays and do not appear clinically: dental abscesses, decay between the teeth, bone loss from gum disease, cysts and tumors, missing adult teeth, the list is extensive. The idea of minimizing risk to achieve this vital information is our standard of care. We use the lowest levels of radiation possible and our patients always wear a protective lead apron. If we can get a copy of a recent x-ray from a previous office we always try to do so. It is always the patient’s choice to refuse x-rays, but it may affect your quality of care and definitely affects our ability to diagnose as accurately and often early in the disease process.
Of course we are aware that there are circumstances that require rebooking of appointments, even short notice, and we are happy to do so. However, unlike medical practices where patients are double-booked and often left waiting, we set aside chair time specifically for the patients who are booked and strive to never keep our patients waiting. We respect our patients’ time, and we ask for the same in return. The fee for repeated missed or short-cancelled appointments is not meant to be punitive, but is meant to recover only a small portion of the staff costs associated with this unproductive time.
We refer to specialists for the placement of implants, specifically periodontists, because our experience is that they do a great job and have the most consistent results. We do restore implants by placing permanent crowns on them once we get approval from the periodontist.
We accept Ministry coverage as full payment. While dentists are not allowed to refuse to see patients with this coverage, we also choose not to charge the substantial uncovered difference between what the Ministry pays for and what the standard fee guide charges.
While we have decided not to use amalgam (silver-mercury) fillings in our office, they are a tried and true restorative material that some dentists still choose to place. We believe white fillings are more cosmetically pleasing, contain no mercury, can be added to or repaired in a way that metal fillings can’t be, and are bonded to tooth structure. The fillings are adhered to the tooth using a mild acid etch, adhesive and a curing light to harden both the adhesive and white filling material.
There is a wide range in the cost of x-rays. As of 2014, a small x-ray of a single tooth is $17.00, ranging up to $64.40 for a panoramic x-ray.
We currently charge $9 per unit. Please call us if you have any questions or would like to book a free consultation to determine how many units would be appropriate for you.
There is no set price for hygiene. The fees are billed per 15 minutes of time, which is called a unit. If a patient is overdue for their hygiene visit, there will be more tartar and stain to remove and extra units will be needed. An hour with the hygienist ranges from approximately $130 to $150. The fees for hygiene services in British Columbia are among the lowest in the country.
There are two types of new patient exams. A complete exam involves reviewing your medical and dental history, a clinical examination of all the mouth and jaw (including checking for decay, assessing your gums, checking for any unhealthy changes in any of the tissues) and formulating a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. The current fee for this is $90.60. A limited exam addresses a specific concern, and the fee is $41.10. Radiographs (x-rays) are extra, as required.
There are currently three levels of INVISALIGN™ treatment, based on how long the case is expected to take. We are happy to provide a consultation for anyone who is interested in finding out more about how INVISALIGN™ works and to estimate how long their treatment might take. The range is $1350 to $5400. Many people have adult orthodontic coverage as part of their insurance plan.
There are two standard screening x-rays that we recommend. Bitewings, where the patient bites on a tab, show decay between the back teeth that can’t be seen in the mouth. For most patients, we recommend these be taken once every year. They show great detail, and can diagnose decay long before it would ever become painful. Panoramic x-rays are more of a screening tool, and we take them once every five years. These x-rays show all of the teeth, the supporting bone, both jaws and the TMJ. They are also used in children to track the development of the adult teeth in the jaw.
Professional whitening includes custom trays of your teeth to allow the use of much stronger whitening gels without irritating the gums. In-office, or “laser” whitening, are not as effective as home whitening. The results are rarely as good, the process is more expensive, and the best use of this is if someone wants their teeth lighter by tomorrow.