I'm a new patient - what should I expect?
Welcome! It’s great to see you are interested in becoming a patient at our dental clinic.
As a first time patient, we often recommend you schedule a full comprehensive oral examination and x-rays with one of our dentists.
During this 1-hour comprehensive dental exam, the doctor will assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and recommend any treatment you might need, including the frequency at which you should be having cleanings. We pride ourselves on being very open with our patients, so the dentist will take time to explain where and why they are recommending certain treatment.
What if I already had a comprehensive exam done recently at my previous dentist?
No problem at all! However, if you believe you require treatment and need to see the dentist, we would still be required to perform an initial or specific exam to confirm what needs to be done.* If you have dental insurance, we highly recommend checking with your insurance company to see if you would be covered for another new patient exam before your appointment. If you don’t need an examination, you are welcome to have a cleaning on its own.
*We are unable to perform general “check-ups” on our new patients as we have not seen you before and have no history on your teeth. Under insurance, a check-up is known as ‘returning patient recare.’
What if I only need to look at a specific tooth or area?
If you just need the doctor to look at a specific issue, like a sore or broken tooth, you can see the dentist for a specific examination only. As it suggests, this type of exam focuses only on a specific area or tooth that you are concerned with. During this exam, the dentist may need to take an x-ray to determine the inner health or status of the tooth (if applicable) below the gum line.
Does my new patient exam include a cleaning?
Unless you have booked a back-to-back, 2-hour appointment for both a new patient exam and cleaning, an examination by the dentist does not include a cleaning by a hygienist. We strive to make sure we are booking you for the appointment you want when you first contact us, so don’t be afraid to ask extra questions if you are unsure of what will be done during your appointment.
Can I bring my x-rays taken at my previous dental clinic?
Yes! You are welcome to transfer your old x-rays to us when you have your first exam. However, it is good to note that any x-rays older than 1 year may no longer be an accurate representation of the current state of your teeth and bone which can change over time. In order to give the dentist a more up-to-date view, the doctor may also take new x-rays for you.
How do dental cleanings work?
All our cleanings are performed by our lovely hygienists. A typical cleaning is 1 hour, and will usually include scaling, polishing, and fluoride.
If you don’t visit the dentist often, or haven’t been in a while, you may require additional visits in order for the hygienist to clean all your teeth thoroughly. If you are a returning patient, your cleaning appointment may also include procedures like a check-up or x-rays.
If you are a new patient, your appointment will only include a cleaning unless you have requested a 2-hour back-to-back appointment for an initial examination as well.
I have dental insurance - can you direct bill to my insurance company?
Yes! We are one of the few clinics in downtown Toronto that allow direct billing for your convenience.
If you have Canadian dental coverage, make sure to tell our receptionists before your appointment so we can direct bill to your insurance company when you are finished.
If your plan allows ‘assignment of benefits’, we can direct bill your insurance – they will cover you at your eligible coverage amount, and you will be required to pay the difference.
If your plan does not allow assignment of benefits, you will be required to pay the total amount for your treatment on the day; we can help submit your claim for you so you get reimbursed directly by your insurance. Get to know your dental coverage before you come in to avoid any surprises!
For more detail, click here to check out our post on explaining dental insurance.
I’m not a patient but can you submit a dental estimate for me?
We are unable submit a dental estimate if you are not yet a patient at our clinic. However, we can provide you with the procedure codes we use for certain dental treatment, e.g. new patient exams, x-rays, cleanings; You can call your insurance company and quote the procedure codes to check your coverage.
If you are interested in becoming a patient but would like to check your coverage first, just give us a call and we’ll provide you with some procedure codes to get you started!
I have secondary dental insurance - what do I need to bring?
If you have secondary dental insurance (in addition to your own primary plan), be sure to tell our receptionists at the start of your appointment.
In order to bill successfully to your dental secondary insurance, we need: The carrier name, group/plan number, ID/subscriber number, and the full name and date of birth of the secondary policy holder.
What is secondary insurance?
A secondary insurance plan is a dental plan that often covers the remaining amount that wasn’t paid out by your own primary dental plan.
E.g. Your own primary plan covers 80% of treatment, and your secondary plan covers the remaining 20%.
If you have secondary insurance, you can typically be listed under a spouse or parent’s insurance plan, or even second plan under your own name.
If you have any questions relating to your insurance coverage, it is always best to contact your insurance company to confirm.
Can you direct bill to my health spending account or travel insurance?
We are unable to direct bill to health spending accounts, travel insurance, or insurance companies based outside of Canada. You will need to pay up front in full on the day of treatment and we can provide you with a receipt to submit for reimbursement.
Do you have specialists in the office?
Yes! We have an on-staff oral surgeon working select days of the month from our clinic. Our group of offices also has a periodontal specialist – Dr. Michael Landzberg – working from our Cityview Dental location.
This is an advantage for you because your treatment will be customized to your needs, and all your records will be kept in one place which facilitates treatment and co-ordination between dentist and specialist!
If your dentist recommends specialist treatment after assessing your teeth, they will organise a referral for you.
How do your prices compare with other dentists?
Our dental clinic follows the current Ontario Dental Association fee guide and we strive to provide you with affordable, high quality dental care.
We always recommend and encourage our patients to ask questions about their dental treatment and pricing so you are aware of what to expect down the line.
Please note that seeking a bargain for dentistry can be dangerous; patients should foremost be concerned with a dentist’s level of expertise, knowledge, and technological capabilities – with anything relating to your mouth, you should be looking for quality over cost. Before taking a chance on your dental care, we would love for you to visit our practice and experience what sets us apart from the rest!
Do you offer any discounts?
Yes! We currently offer a discount for our patients over the age of 65.
What is your cancellation policy?
We do our very best to meet and exceed your expectations when you come in for your appointment, and times are reserved specifically for you. In return, we ask that you respect and value our time by providing us with at least two (2) business days notice for any changes or cancellations. For appointments relating to oral surgery, we require at least seven (7) calendar days notice. This allows us to accommodate other waiting patients in a timely manner. We appreciate your cooperation and thank you for your understanding!
Is whitening covered by my insurance?
Often whitening treatment is not covered by insurance plans as it is a cosmetic procedure. If you wish to double-check this, we recommend calling your insurance company.
What causes tooth discolouration?
There are two main types of tooth discolouration: extrinsic (stains to the outside of the tooth) and intrinsic (stains that discolour a tooth from within).
External stains can be caused by any substance that your teeth come in contact with such as red wine, coffee, tea, or tobacco.
Internal discolouration reflects your tooth’s actual condition and often occurs as a result of treatment procedures, exposure to excessive amounts of fluoride (fluorosis) and certain antibiotics.
Some types and degrees of discolouration can be managed using whitening methods, while others require veneers, bonding, or other restorative procedures. Make an appointment with us to find out which type of stains you have and our dentists will discuss which whitening method is best for you.
You can read more about whitening here.
How often should I visit the dentist?
You should visit us at least twice a year to have your teeth checked and cleaned, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.
Regular dental exams and cleanings are essential for preventing dental problems and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. In addition to cleaning your teeth and checking for cavities, our dentists will perform other important steps to maintain your dental health, including:
- Medical history review: In order to take proper care of your dental health, our dentists will keep up to date on the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and your overall health
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays: X-rays are essential for detecting tooth decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss, and can help to determine tooth and root positions
- Oral cancer screening: Our dentists will check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer
- Gum disease evaluation: We will check your gums and the bone around your teeth for any signs of periodontal disease
- Examination of tooth decay: Using special dental instruments, we will check all of your tooth surfaces for decay
- Examination of existing restorations: We will check the status of your current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, nearly invisible film that forms on the teeth and is made up from food debris, saliva, and living bacteria. These bacteria continually grow and produce toxins that inflame the gums and can eventually cause periodontal disease
- Removal of tartar: Tartar (or calculus) is plaque that has been left on a tooth’s surface long enough to become hardened and firmly attached. It can form both above and below the gum line and must be removed with special dental instruments
- Teeth polishing: Our dentists will help you to remove stains and plaque that could not be removed during teeth brushing and scaling
- Oral hygiene recommendations: We will review oral hygiene aids with you and recommend the ones that are best for your case (i.e. electric toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
- Review of dietary habits: Eating habits and dental health are strongly connected. We will help you to make the best dietary choices for your dental health
As you can see, we do much more during your visit than simply checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. You should schedule regular check-ups to ensure we are able to provide you with the best possible care!
What if I'm scared to go to the dentist?
We understand that sometimes the dentist can be a scary place for some patients. That’s why we pride ourselves on having some of the friendliest, empathetic dentists and staff around. We want you to be comfortable with every aspect so if you are feeling anxious about coming in, we recommend booking a free consultation first.
In this consultation, you can discuss with the dentist any treatment you believe you might need, and ask any questions about the office and our procedures and get a general feel of our clinic. If you are not quite ready to come in, why not have a read of some of our online reviews to see which of our dentists might suit you best.
For a little extra help, click here for our post on managing fear and anxiety.
If you have any questions at all, give us a call or send us a message through our website!
What do I do if I have a dental emergency?
Dental problems if left untreated can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Our extended evening and Saturday office hours typically means that we will be able to see you for your dental emergency the same day.
Whether you are from out of town on holiday, a patient of record, or a new patient – give us a call or message us if you have an emergency during office hours and we will strive to see your dental emergencies usually on the same day as you call. If for some reason we cannot see you at our location on a specific day, we will triage you to one of our sister locations at Cityview Dental, Waterview Dental, or The Richmond Dental Centre.
Don’t have time to talk? Message us through our website instead! Click the little green button to your right and send us a text message that is instantly sent through to our dental receptionists during our office hours.
As a patient of record if you have an emergency after office hours you can leave a message on our emergency hotline, and the dentist on call will return your call again usually within 30 minutes.
Our strong commitment to you is that if you have a dental emergency, you will be well taken care of at our office.
Click here to learn more about what you can do if you have a dental emergency.
Do you take Walk-Ins?
We do not take walk-ins due to the length of certain procedures and treatment we perform. We don’t want you to wait any longer than you have to, which is why we strongly recommend contacting us to reserve a time with the dentist.