News / Edmonton

New dental fee guide suggests drop in prices for dental procedures in Alberta

The new fees aren't mandatory, but the Association says most dentists in other provinces have used local guides

New dental fee guide suggests an 8.5 per cent drop in prices for dental procedures in Alberta.

Rene Johnston / Toronto Star Staff

New dental fee guide suggests an 8.5 per cent drop in prices for dental procedures in Alberta.

A new dental fee guide from the Alberta Dental Association and College suggests reducing the price for many common dental procedures by 8.5 per cent.

The guide, which sets out suggested fees for dentists, was developed with the help of the province. It recommends dropping the price for more than 60 dental procedures.

“I’ve heard from seniors and parents worried about creeping costs and the affordability of dental care. We’ve partnered with the Alberta Dental Association and College to make sure dental health is affordable and transparent in this province,” Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman said in the release.

A 2016 review found Albertans pay more than other provinces for certain dental procedures.

Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare, said the recommended decrease is a step forward but oral care still needs to be treated the same as treatments for rest of the body.

“We need to stop any policies that promote the exclusion of dental care from our healthcare system,” Azocar said.

She said that the reduction is a “good step” as Albertans will be more informed around the cost of procedures.

The last time Alberta had a dental fee guide was more than two decades ago. The new guide goes into effect on New Year’s Day.

“The Alberta Dental Association and College is committed to ensuring Albertans have uninterrupted access to high-quality dental care at fair prices,” Hoffman said. “We believe this latest fee guide is one more step in that commitment.”

While dentists are not obligated to follow the guide, the release says other provinces have seen the vast majority of dentists align with their provincial dental fee guides.

Dr. Mintoo Basahti, president of the Alberta Dental Association and College said in the release that the new fee guide, which goes into effect on New Year’s Day, will allow Albertans to have a conversation with their dentists about the costs of dental services.

The complete guide will be available on the college’s public website. The college will create an easy-to-use abridged version.

More on Metronews.ca