Alberta Dental Fee Guide

A dental fee guide has been set to be released in 2017 following a number of complaints against sky-rocketing dental fees.

Alberta has been the only province since 1997 without a dental fee guide, allowing dental practitioners to charge increasing prices for their work. As seen in the graphic below, 62% of Albertans limit their dental visits due to high costs and 87% of Albertans agree that dental costs are far beyond reach. 

Although the fee guide will create a guideline, it might have a negative affect on people with dental plans. A Red Deer dentist suggested that insurance companies will use the fee guide as an opportunity to reimburse at a lower level, which will not be taken into consideration when creating the guide. 

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Dental fees in Alberta - it's different here!

Alberta is the most expensive place to get dental care in Canada

In the past 10 years, fees for dental services have climbed 56%, and Alberta is the most expensive place in Canada to care for your pearly whites. 

Bruce Yaholnitsky is a Calgary dentist and a director for the Alberta Dental Association and College who gave several reasons for our high costs:

  • dental hygienists' salaries, which are higher than the national average
  • higher overall costs in economies like Fort McMurray
  • Calgary's steep downtown parking rates, which are among the highest in Canada
  • Alberta's health care professions' infection prevention standards

Dental Fee Comparison

Lee Kinasewich, Gold Key benefits advisor, says: "You need to know what exactly is covered by your plan, including how often you can visit your dentist, how many units of scaling are included, and educate yourself on the fee guide set out by your insurance company so you can compare that against a dentist's fees."

No set fee schedule in Alberta

Because the Alberta Dental Association does not regulate fees, each dental office sets its own prices. Each insurance company also sets their own fee guide. What does this mean for you as a patient?

  • your plan provides 80% coverage
  • your dentist's for a new patient exam is $80
  • your insurance company's fee guide for the exam is $65
  • your insurance company will only pay 80% of their fee for the procedure (so 80% of $65), not 80% of the dentist's fee ($80)
  • you will pay your 20% portion + the difference between your insurance company's fee and the dental office fee