Policies

Payment by cash, debit or credit card is expected at the time of the services, unless other arrangements have been made with your Dentist. Please feel comfortable to discuss your dental health and the impact on your budget with us. Do not allow budgeting to become a barrier preventing you from quality dental care. Special arrangements are available.

If you or your spouse has a Dental Insurance Plan, please bring your booklet to your next appointment so that we may discuss your coverage with you. Our computerized office enables us to submit your insurance claims electronically, thereby providing your insurer with the information necessary to process your claim as quickly as possible. However, not all insurers accept electronic claims and we advise our patients to confirm such acceptance with their insurance company. Your insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurance company. We ask that you keep us as up to date as possible on any changes to your address, telephone numbers and your dental insurance information. Dentists are not informed of changes to dental plans. Since there are hundreds of different plans in this province alone, it is impossible for us to be aware of all the details in each plan.

We are here to help you in any way that we can with your dental claims. Estimates for major restorative treatment will be sent to your insurance company to verify coverage availability before required treatment begins. However, dental insurance does not always provide coverage with your dental health in mind. We will diagnose with the best interest of your dental health, not your insurance, as our primary concern. Your dentist or hygienist will always discuss your dental needs and the fees with you before we commence with any treatment.

Understanding Dental Insurance

We understand our patients desire to take advantage of benefits their employer has purchased on their behalf. Sometimes we see them disappointed when those benefits don’t completely match their needs. We want to share with you what we have learned about dental insurance so you will have clear expectations from the start.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some dental benefits are changing rapidly, with many reductions in your coverage. Insurance companies do not inform dental offices of changes to your policy. Benefit coverage is a contract between you, the insurance company and your employer, not the dentist. Your insurance company may have changed due to; takeover, merger, buyout, etc. If so, you may have new policy numbers, etc. Be sure you are up to date so that you can update your dentist. Dental benefits rarely cover 100% of your dentistry. Coverage, in some cases is being reduced drastically due to companies cutting their costs. This means that necessary treatment may no longer be covered by your plan. Ultimately, you are responsible for paying the dentist for treatment and your insurance company will reimburse you. We encourage our patients to know their plan, in order to eliminate disappointments with payment and reimbursement. We suggest that you obtain updated information from your insurance company before making your dental appointments (and we would be pleased to help you further understand your benefit coverage).

"FACTS ABOUT THE CHANGES IN DENTAL BENEFITS"

Some companies offer 100% coverage based on 1994 (or earlier) fees. We charge current fees, which are based on the Ontario Dental Association fee guide. We would be pleased to complete a pre-authorization to send to your insurance company for confirmation of your coverage. This will enable you to plan your finances before starting treatment. Often insurance companies are sending back approvals with requests for cheaper alternative treatment plans. Our doctors will discuss any alternatives and choices with you prior to treatment. It is our policy to recommend what is best for you, not what is best for the insurance company. Some employers are offering their employees dental coverage which is minimal and restricts their choice of dentist and treatment.

The benefits purchased for you were based on the amount your employer budgeted for buying insurance – not on your needs or the needs of others in the plan. No one from the insurance company checked your teeth, or your family’s teeth, or asked you what kind of dental health was important to you. That’s okay. That’s our job.

We want to assure you that in this practice we will always make recommendations based on what we believe to be the best for you; never on what your policy covers. We will help you see what we see, as we see it. We’ll help you understand the existing condition in your mouth, how it occurred, and what you can do about it. We’ll talk with you about options and help you understand the implications of choices you make. We want to work with you over time to help you achieve the level of health you desire for yourself and your family.

Most of our patients tell us they want dentistry that is done right the first time. They want the longest lasting, most dependable, most comfortable, and most attractive treatment they can have. That’s also what we see as the best and, in the long run, most economical dentistry. We encourage you to look at dental insurance as an aid in achieving your goals. Dental insurance was never designed to pay for everything everyone in the plan might want or need; only to defer some of the cost of some of the treatment it’s customers might choose.

We have a lot of experience with dental insurance in our practice and we’re happy to share what we know with you. We’ll help you figure out what you’re entitled to, help you ask the appropriate questions of your benefits advisor, and help you get the most you are entitled to under your plan. We hope you will see us as a resource in helping you make healthy choices. We hope to be in a relationship with you for a long time so your long term health is important to us.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PRIVACY LEGISLATION EFFECTIVE 1 JANUARY 2004.
PATIENT INFORMATION FORM REGARDING COLLECTION, USE AND DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION.

Privacy of your personal information is an important part of our office providing you with quality dental care. We understand the importance of protecting your personal information. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing your personal information responsibly. We also try to be as open and transparent as possible about the way we handle your personal information. It is important to us to provide this service to our patients. All staff members who come in contact with your personal information are aware of the sensitive nature of the information that you have disclosed to us. They are all trained in the appropriate uses and protection of your information.

This form outlines what our office is doing to ensure that:

Only necessary information is collected about you;
We only share your information with your consent;
Storage, retention and destruction of your personal information complies with existing legislation, and privacy protection protocols;

Our privacy protocols comply with privacy legislation, standards of our regulatory body, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, and the law.

Do not hesitate to discuss our policies with either of the Privacy Officers, or any member of our office staff. Please be assured that every staff person in our office is committed to ensuring that you receive the best quality dental care.

How Our Office Collects, Uses and Discloses Patients’ Personal Information.

Our office understands the importance of protecting your personal information. To help you understand how we are doing that, we have outlined here how our office is using and disclosing your information.

This office will collect, use and disclose information about you for the following purposes:
To deliver safe and efficient patient care
To identify and to ensure continuous high quality service
To assess your health needs
To provide health care
To advise you of treatment options
To enable us to contact you
To establish and maintain communication with you
To offer and provide treatment, care and services in relationship to the oral and maxillofacial complex and dental care generally
To communicate with other treating health-care providers, including specialists and general dentists who are the referring dentists and / or peripheral dentists
To allow us to maintain communication and contact with you to distribute health-care information and to book and confirm appointments
To allow us to efficiently follow-up for treatment, care and billing for teaching and demonstrating purposes on an anonymous basis
To complete and submit dental claims for third party adjudication and payment
To comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including the delivery of patients’ charts and records to the Royal College of Dental surgeons of Ontario in a timely fashion, when required, according to the provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act
To comply with agreements / undertakings entered into voluntarily by the member with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, including the delivery and / or review of patients’ charts and records to the College in a timely fashion for regulatory and monitoring purposes
To permit potential purchasers, practice brokers or advisors to evaluate the dental practice
To allow potential purchasers, practice brokers or advisors to conduct an audit in preparation for a practice sale
To deliver your charts and records to the dentist’s insurance carrier to enable the insurance company to assess liability and quantify damages, if any
To prepare materials for the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB)
To invoice for goods and services
To process credit card payments
To collect unpaid accounts
To assist this office to comply with regulatory requirements
To comply generally with the law

Your information may be accessed by regulatory authorities under the terms of the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) for the purposes of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario fulfilling its mandate under the RHPA, and the defence of a legal issue.

Our office will not under any conditions supply your insurer with your confidential medical history. In the event this kind of request is made, we will forward the information directly to you for review, and for your specific consent. When unusual requests are received, we will contact you for permission to release such information. We may also advise you if such a release is inappropriate.
All appointments are scheduled exclusively to accommodate the needs of each patient. Your time is valuable so we endeavor to run on schedule. However we require your co-operation and request that you do your best to arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. Late arrival may result in a rescheduled appointment. It is our pleasure to provide you with quality care, and to do so, quality time is required.

We have an excellent hygiene team dedicated to your dental health. It is our policy to schedule your hygiene, re-care, or other dental appointments with you at the end of each visit to our office. With our computerized scheduling program we are able to reserve time for you up to one year in advance. This allows YOU to choose the best time to fit YOUR schedule. Although we do consider all appointments confirmed at the time of scheduling, our treatment co-ordinator will contact you one-two weeks prior to your planned appointment to reconfirm if this still suits your schedule. Subsequently our secretaries will continue to provide you with a courtesy reconfirmation call two days prior to your scheduled appointment, if you wish us to do so.

Although our schedules are often very full we have established a system to serve you. Once your appointment is scheduled, you will be asked if you are available on short notice. If so, your account will be flagged and you will be notified if an earlier appointment becomes available. In addition, we may be required to reschedule your appointment should a fellow patient require emergency treatment. We ask for your co-operation and understanding in such circumstances.

Missed Appointment and Cancellation Policy

Our office maintains a cancellation policy whereby we require 48 hours notice should it be necessary for you to reschedule your appointment. This policy is essential for the efficient operation of our office and assists us in providing better service to you, our valued patient. Please allow us to provide you with the best service possible by complying with this policy and informing us if you will be unable to attend at your scheduled time.

If you are unable to attend your appointment, we require 48 hours advance notice by telephone. This allows us to accommodate other patients who are waiting for appointments. Reserved appointments that are not cancelled by telephone 48 hours prior to the scheduled time will be subject to a missed appointment fee starting at $50.00. Thank you for your understanding. Schellenberg Dentistry.
Laboratory Fees Patient Fact Sheet

Just as with any other commercial purchase, it is important that consumers of dental services understand how their invoice is calculated. As a consumer of dental services, it is in your best interest to be informed about all aspects of your oral health care, including fees charged by your dentist. While most of your dental fees relate directly to the work performed by members of the dental office team, laboratory work is frequently performed by a third party – a dental technologist or dental lab – whose fees are independent of your dentist’s.

What is a laboratory fee?

A laboratory fee is the amount charged for making dental appliances, such as crowns, bridges, or even a plastic night guard, worn to keep you from grinding your teeth while sleeping. Appliances themselves are made only under the supervision of a dentist or registered dental technologist.

Who determines lab fees?

While a dentist may supervise the production of appliances, the laboratory fees charged for them are set largely by registered dental technologists, many of whom are represented by The Associate of Dental Technologists of Ontario (ADTO). This organization recently published a suggested fee guide for its members. The ADTO’s suggested fees may be adopted by the laboratory used by your dentist. The suggested fees may differ from those that some dentists, patients and insurance companies are accustomed to paying. As with any dental fee, some dental plans may not absorb the difference for affected laboratory procedures if the fee you are charged is higher than the one in the suggested fee guide. This means patients may be faced with increased out-of-pocket cost for the laboratory portion of the dental work. Your dentist has no control over these costs, which are the responsibility of the patient.

How are lab fees related to the services my dentist performs?

By Ontario law, dentists must separate their fees from commercial laboratory fees on any invoice or statement of account provided to a patient. Also, by law, your dentist is not allowed to “charge a laboratory fee for a dental appliance that is more than the commercial laboratory cost actually incurred.” *

What if I think lab fees are too high?

Laboratory fees are not under the control of your dentist. The ODA encourages dentists and their patients to regularly discuss all aspects of their ongoing oral health programme, including its costs, especially before any work is done. Your dentist’s first consideration is achieving the highest level of oral health for you. However, if cost of treatment becomes a factor, an alternative treatment path should be discussed with your dentist.
Schellenberg Dentistry 905.569.8978
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