The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario governs dentists in Toronto.
In order to officially practice in Toronto a registered DDS or Doctor of Dental surgery must be licensed by the RCDS. This involves graduating from an accredited dental program and successfully completing the board exams.
Each Province of Canada has its own set of exams. Even though a dentist is licensed to practice in Toronto he/she may not have that privilege outside of the Province of Ontario.
Within Ontario there are several industry associations that help to regulate this profession. The RCDS on a Provincial level, and the Ontario Dental Association assists with a fee guide.
The organizations produce a guide for all dentists to refer to in charging fees for individual services. Each service has a code and each code has a corresponding fee.
Some services are time bound and other services have additional time fees that can be added onto the amount suggested. These are suggested amounts and dentists are not bound to adhere to this fee guide for services. In fact, one could be a dental practitioner and not belong to the Ontario Dental Association.
While it is true that a dentist has the freedom to set their charges, many patients will have dental insurance plans from their place of work or under the Provincial Social Services program.
These health plans will base their payments for the services upon the fee guide set out by the Ontario Dental Association. It is therefore in the best interest of the dental practitioner to use the fee guide as a fair gauge to remain competitive in charging of fees.
The fees may change every 2 to 3 years and practitioners will learn some insurance companies for example will provide full coverage based on the older fee guide. Often there are deductibles to the individual as well. It is up to the practitioner whether the balance is to be charged to the patient or waived.
Most practitioners will forward the updated charges to the patient. Most dental practitioners today will also require the patient pay their fees upon the date of services rendered and it is the patient’s responsibility to submit a claim to the insurance company.
With our digital society most dental offices however can submit the claim for the patient online and the funds will then be mailed to the patient in a matter of days.
Most insurance companies will only make checks payable to the patient, so the dentist is very careful about payment in the office for the service rendered.
There are also some procedures; usually ones that are considered cosmetic that are not covered by any dental plans provided by insurance companies. In order to determine what these are, a pre-determination form is sent to the provider by the dental clinic to ask if such a procedure will be paid for under the patients plan.
Orthodontics for example may not be covered or may be covered up to 80% depending on the level of plan a subscriber holds.
There are a variety of dental professionals in Toronto as well. From the General Practitioner or GP to an array of specialties one can pretty much have all their oral needs taken care of in Toronto.
Based on a referral system most specialists rely on word of mouth from the GPs to send them referrals. Many specialists are also affiliated with hospitals in order to have operating time and space to perform their procedures if necessary. There are also GPs that have hospital affiliations in order to handle the emergency or hospitalized patients.
Many dental offices have hygienists to do the preliminary cleaning of a patient’s teeth. The dentist must verify all hygiene work performed however over the last few years hygienists have been given increasing responsibility.
There are also lab technicians involved in much of the dental care necessary. A set of dentures for example may be made by a technician and fitted by a denturist, overseen by a dentist.
In recent years there have been denture clinics springing up and less expensive means of being fitted for dentures by eliminating the dentist from the procedure. If there is a medical problem due to the insertion of such device not overseen by a licensed practitioner the patient will not have any recourse with the Royal College of Dental Practitioners.
Orthodontics which is the area of alignment corrective appliances for the mouth, Prosthodontics is the specialist for dentures, Pedodontics is a specialty for children’s dentistry, Oral surgeons are as the name suggests any surgery in the mouth like the removal of wisdom teeth,
Periodontics is the area of gum disease and scaling of tartar and plaque removal then there is endodontics being the practice of root canals etc.
For further information on where to find dentists in Toronto visit the Ontario Dental Association for a comprehensive listing.