Frequently Asked Questions
Select a question in the category you wish to find out the answer to.
- I want to come to your clinic for dental care. What information should I bring with me?
Our Burlington dentist will require some basic personal information for your first appointment. Along with the obvious information--full name, address, contact numbers, date of birth--please bring your SIN and/or driver's license.
When you arrive you will be asked to fill out some forms which will be placed in your chart. Included in these forms are questions pertaining to your previous dental treatment (e.g., date of last treatment) as well as your current dental status (e.g., specific pain/discomfort or concerns). A review of your medical history as well as current health is an important part of your chart. If you are taking any medications, we will need to know the names as well as the dosages.
If you have dental insurance, you will have to provide the specifics such as policy number, group number, and employer. You may have been given a booklet which describes your coverage--bring that along also so we can assist you in understanding your coverage. Although it is your responsibility to know your dental insurance coverage, we do make every effort to assist you in understanding your dental coverage.
- I am pregnant. What dental care is available?
In general, routine dental care is safe for pregnant patients. However, due to the need to maintain the safety of the fetus, all proposed treatment to the mother must be carefully planned. Our Burlington dentist will advise you as it relates to what stage you are in your pregnancy.
- I have not seen a dentist for several years--what can I expect during my first appointment?
The first appointment is essentially an information-gathering appointment. In order for our Burlington dentist to generate a treatment plan customized to your dental needs, he/she needs to complete a comprehensive examination. You can expect to be in the dental office for one to one and a half hours. Our Burlington dentist will use all of the information gathered to generate a treatment plan based on your dental needs. The treatment plan will be reviewed with you either at the end of this appointment or during a separate appointment, depending on the complexity.
- Why are my health problems a concern for the Burlington dentist? Why do I need to tell them the medications I am taking?
There are many medical conditions that require special consideration in the delivery of dental treatment. Due to the potential for adverse drug interactions, we need to know the medications all patients are taking, prescriptions or otherwise. We need to be certain that any drugs or treatment that we administer will not interact adversely with your medications and cause you undue harm.
- Will x-rays be taken? Are they necessary? Are there alternatives?
X-rays are used only when necessary to ensure that your examination is thorough. In our office, we use digital x-rays sensors which will reduce radiation by 70% versus film based x-rays.
- I just want a cleaning--why is it necessary for me to see a dentist first?
Only the dentist has the medical knowledge, skill, and diagnostic capabilities to effectively provide a full oral health assessment. This is critical to patient safety because many patients have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications that must be considered before any treatment is performed. Patients' needs must be assessed by a dentist prior to any invasive treatment below the gum line, including root planing and scaling, duties that are generally assigned to dental hygienists.
The current clinical model where dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and other office staff work as a team in one location is critical for patient safety and provides the most cost-effective, efficient, convenient and accessible system for patients in need of oral health care services. Dental hygienists are usually the team members who complete the root planing and scaling of teeth of our patients.
- English is not my first language. May I have another person accompany me to translate for me? Can they stay with me while you treat me?
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage you to bring along someone who can translate for you effectively. We will not commence with dental treatment until we are certain that you understand the diagnosis, the treatment options, the risks and benefits, as well as your financial obligation
- Why do I need x-rays?
Radiographic or x-ray examinations provide your Burlington dentist with an important tool that shows the condition of your teeth, its roots, jaw placement and the overall composition of your facial bones. X-rays can pin point the location of cavities and other signs of disease that may not be possible to detect through a visual examination.
- Do all patients have x-rays taken every 12 months?
No. Your radiographic schedule is based on the dentist's assessment of your individual needs, including whether you are a new patient or a follow-up patient, adult or child.
- What kind of x-rays is usually taken?
There are two types of x-rays taken in the dental office. The first is a panoramic x-ray which allows your Burlington dentist to see the entire structure of your mouth in a single image. Within one large file, panoramic radiographs reveal all of your upper and lower teeth and parts of your jaw. The second type of x-ray is isolated to viewing a few teeth in one part of your mouth, commonly called a "bitewing" or a "PA".
- Should I be concerned about exposure to radiation?
All health care providers are sensitive to patients' concerns about exposure to radiation. Your Burlington dentist has been trained to prescribe radiographs whey they are appropriate and to tailor radiographic schedules to each patients' individual needs. By staying knowledgeable about recent advances, your Burlington dentist knows which techniques, procedures and x-rays films can minimize your exposure to radiation. With Digital x-ray sensors, the amount of radiation is reduced even further by up to 70%.
Transferring From Another Office
- I just moved into your neighborhood. How do I transfer my treatment records to your office from another office?
In order for your records, including x-rays, to be transferred from your previous office, you will have to do one of two things: (1) You can make the request directly from your previous office to have your records transferred to our office. You will be asked to sign a release form giving that office permission to release your records to us. (2) You can fill out a "Requisition of Records" form at our office which we will send to your previous office. It also gives permission for the other office to release the records to us.
Please note that only you can request for a transfer of your records and those of your children. However, you cannot sign for the release of your spouse's records. He/she must do so independently.
It is important to understand that the original radiographs and original charts are legal records and as such they belong to your previous dentist. According to our licensing body, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO), all original radiographs and charts must be maintained by the dentist and only duplicate radiographs can be transferred, as well as photocopied charts.
There may be a charge for this service.
- Will I need to pay for an examination if I just had one by another dentist?
Yes. Even with a transfer of records from your previous dentist, we still need to examine you ourselves so that we can generate a treatment plan to address your dental needs as based on our findings.
Dental Insurance (Related information in the Financial section)
- I need immediate dental care on a weekend or weekday evening and this is my first appointment. Will my dental insurance be accepted?
Legitimate dental insurance coverage cannot be determined during evenings or on Saturdays or Sundays as all insurance companies are closed. We are able to confirm dental insurance coverage for patients who ask during the weekdays. Therefore, if you are able to give us your dental insurance information on a weekday prior to your weekend or evening appointment, we can confirm the details of your coverage.
Due to the inability to confirm a patient's coverage on a weekend or an evening, all treatment must be paid for after the appointment. We accept cash, VISA, M/C, American Express, and Interac payments using a bank debit card. Unfortunately, our office does not accept cheques. Insurance claims will be submitted on behalf of the patient either through electronic means or via mail. Patients usually receive reimbursement from their dental insurance company within 2-4 business days.
- I have dental insurance but am not really sure what treatments are covered. What should I do?
- I don't want you to do anything not covered by insurance. Do you accept financial responsibility if you exceed my coverage?
No. It is not our responsibility to know your dental insurance coverage. All financial responsibility for treatment received falls on the patient. If you give consent to treatment, then you automatically accept financial responsibility for the treatment regardless of what your dental insurance covers. While we do our best to help you understand your dental insurance limitations, we expect that you understand your financial responsibilities.
You must not allow the limitations of your dental insurance to limit the dental treatment you receive. In other words, our Burlington dentist will recommend dental treatment to fit your dental needs regardless of your coverage. Dental insurance plans do not necessarily cater to your specific dental needs.
- What are co-payments and deductibles?
A co-payment, as defined in the Ontario Dental Association manual "Policies and Guidelines on Assisting Patients with Their Dental Plans", is "that percentage of the dentist's fee not reimbursable to the patient under the dental plan contract, which the patient must pay. The percentage is determined according to a sharing formula in the contract between the policyholder and the plan administrator.
A deductible, as defined in the Ontario Dental Association manual "Policies and Guidelines on Assisting Patients with Their Dental Plans", is "a stipulated sum that the insured person must pay toward the cost of dental treatment before the benefits of the indemnity-type program go into effect. The deductible may be an annual amount or payable only once, and may vary in amount from program to program."
For more information on dental insurance plans, please see You and Your Dental Plan, a patient information page provided by the Ontario Dental Association.
- My co-workers told me they do not have to pay their co-payment in their dentist's office. Do I have to pay the deductible and co-payment?
Absolutely! Patients are responsible for their deductibles as well as their co-payments. These amounts are defined by the terms of your dental insurance contract and as the policy holder, you shoulder the responsibility.
- What is a "treatment plan"?
A treatment plan is an outline of all dental treatment that is recommended by your dentist after having completed a thorough examination.
- What is a predetermination and why is it necessary?
A predetermination is sometimes called a "pre-treatment estimate" or a "predetermination of benefits".
Some insurance companies require a predetermination prior to commencement of specific procedures. If such procedures are completed without a predetermination and without written approval from the insurance company and a claim is submitted for reimbursement, it is possible that the insurance company will refuse to pay.
In other instances, some patients prefer to have predeterminations submitted for some of the more costly dental procedures. By taking this extra step, the patient is (1) assured of their exact coverage, and (2) their financial responsibility is outlined clearly.
- I've had my first appointment and had a treatment plan
presented to me. It is much more extensive (and expensive) than I expected and I
want a second opinion. Can I get an impartial review from another dentist in your
office? Do I need to go to another office to be "sure" of the impartiality?
Absolutely. If you are not comfortable with the treatment plan presented to you, please feel free to ask for a second opinion.
Generally, there will not be a fee associated with a second opinion. However, depending on the amount of time that is taken for an examination and the consultation, a small fee could be applied.
- I have accepted and started a treatment plan. After the
work starts, the dentist discovers additional problems that need treatment. Do I have to pay for the "hidden" problems?
On occasion the treatment plan must be modified due to unanticipated findings. Changes to the treatment plan could increase your financial responsibility. On the other hand, there could be changes in your treatment plan that decrease your financial responsibility. If the treatment plan needs to be modified, you will be informed immediately and we will make the changes only with your consent.
- Why have I been referred to a specialist for treatment?
There will be instances when specific dental treatment is outside of the scope of our practice. When this occurs, you will be referred to a specialist for treatment. The use of a specialist merely reflects our desire that a specific treatment be completed with the expertise that is required. If we feel we can not provide a specific treatment, we will refer you to someone who can.
When we refer you to a specialist, we do so for a specific dental problem. All other dental needs will be taken care of in our office.
- How old should a child be when they have their first dental appointment?
Depending on the child, all 20 primary or baby teeth will be present between 2 and 3 years of age. You can start bringing your child in for visits at 1 to 2 year old. They should definitely be seen by a dentist by 2 or 3. Remember, it is best for your child to see a dentist before dental problems begin.
- May I bring my child to visit the office before any treatment?
This would be a very good idea. We encourage patients to bring in their children for an "orientation" to the clinic so they will become familiar with the environment. When a parent has an appointment, they often bring in their children as well. The children can sit and draw and/or color while they wait for their Mom or Dad. The more the children come to the clinic, the more they become familiar with the office and the staff.
- What if my child is not cooperative but requires dental treatment?
It is not uncommon for children to be uncooperative at the dental office. Many adults are fearful of receiving dental treatment--imagine a child's fear of the unknown!
We usually attempt a couple of appointments to see if children will become more amenable to treatment. If a child cannot be treated in our office, we will recommend a referral to a pediatric dentist.
Pediatric Dentists are specialists in the dental profession who treat only children.
- My child needs dental treatment but I cannot afford it. Are there any special government-subsidized programs available?
CINOT (Children in Need of Treatment) is a government-subsidized program.
This is a provincial program provided by local government for children from birth to age 13 years who are screened by health department/unit dental staff and found to require dental care urgently. For such children, if the parents cannot afford the cost of the care, the CINOT program will issue a claim form to be taken to the dentist, and will pay for basic dental treatment.
FOR MORE INFO, CONTACT YOUR PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
- May I stay with my child when you are treating my child?
You are always welcome to stay with your child when he/she is being treated. However, in most cases, children tend to cooperate more when the parent is not in the same room. The dentist treating your child may request that you wait for your child in the waiting room.
Financial (Related information in the Dental Insurance section)
- Does OHIP cover dental treatment?
OHIP only pays for some dental surgery, including fractures or medically necessary jaw reconstruction, when done in hospital.
You must pay the cost of dental services in a dentist's office. The exception is the Children in Need of Treatment program (CINOT), managed by public health units. CINOT provides basic urgent care to children checked at school by dental professionals.
- Who determines the prices you charge? Do they differ between offices?
All of our fees are based on the current ODA Suggested Dental Fee Guide for General Practitioners. This fee guide is updated annually. In general, the fees for each dental procedure increase slightly each year.
The fees for dental services can differ between offices. It should be noted, however, that selecting a dentist on the basis of fees alone is not recommended.
The ODA fee guide lists each dental service and assigns a specific
code and suggested fee for each dental service. The fee guide is
meant to be used as a reference by the general practitioner. Not
all dentists use the fee guide.
Note: The ODA Suggested Fee Guide for General Practitioners is
widely used by the group benefits insurance industry as a means
to place a cap on its clients' liability for dental plans. Most
dental plan contracts stipulate that the recipient will be reimbursed
according to the fees suggested in the fee guide or some percentage
thereof. While this is not the intended purpose of the suggested
fee guide, it forms an important component of current dental plans.
- How can I pay for my dental treatment?
We accept cash, VISA, Mastercard, Debit (Interac). Unfortunately, we do not accept cheques.
- When is payment due?
Payment is due when treatment is delivered. So, in most cases, most patients will have a balance after each appointment. If there is a lab fee related to your treatment plan, then the lab fee must be paid in full prior to completion of your dental treatment.
- Are payment plans available?
Yes, we work with a company called Medicard Financing that can provide payment plans for dental or other medical treaments.
- I have been scheduled for an appointment six months from now. Will I be reminded?
As a courtesy, we mail out reminder cards to our recall patients. We also call patients to remind them of their recall dates. Please make sure you provide us with current contact informations.
- I have an appointment at your office and I have to cancel. What are the proper procedures?
In order to avoid a cancellation fee, it is necessary to cancel your appointment within 48 hours (72 hours over weekends). Please call our office to speak with the receptionist or the office manager.
- What happens if I am late for my appointment?
Depending on how late you are going to be will dictate what treatment can be completed. We can not guarantee that the dentist will be able to accommodate your tardiness. If the dentist starts your appointment late, then it is likely that other patients will be inconvenienced also.
We understand that everybody's time is valuable and we want to respect your time. Although there may be times when the dentist or hygienist runs late, we pride ourselves on keeping our patients happy and seating them at their scheduled time. Therefore, we ask as much as possible that you also respect our time and present yourselves at your appointed time or give us adequate notice of your cancellation.
- What happens if I miss my appointment?
The time that is set aside for your appointment is time specifically held for you. When you miss your appointment-e.g., do not show, cancel without adequate notice-unfortunately, we have to charge you for your absence.
- What happens if the dentist or hygienist is late starting my appointment?
We understand that everybody's time is valuable and we want to respect your time. Although there may be times when the dentist or hygienist runs late, we pride ourselves on keeping our patients happy and seating them at their scheduled time.
If the provider is running behind, we try to call our patients before they arrive to inform them of the situation. If, however, you arrive for your appointment and are not seated at your scheduled time, we hope that you will be patient. Sometimes, running late is unavoidable in this profession and we apologize in advance.
Once seated, rest assured that your treatment will continue as scheduled and your appointment will not be rushed in order to make up for the lost time. The care and attention to detail will be the same for your appointment regardless of the time started.
Burlingwood Family Dentistry
Burlington Dentist Office Hours
Monday: 10am to 8pm
Tuesday: 10am to 8pm
Wednesday: 10am to 5pm
Thursday: 10am to 8pm
Friday: 9am to 3pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm (alternate)
Where We Are
2400 Guelph Line
Canada, L7P 4M7