Fastest rising dental care costs revealed

by Paul Lucas10 Feb 2016
Think you might be in need of a filling or two? Then you might want to steer clear of Alberta.

A 10-year assessment of increases in dental costs by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has revealed that you may feel more pain in your wallet than with your root canal if you live in Alberta: the most expensive place in the country to maintain a healthy smile.

According to Joan Weir of the CLHIA, Alberta’s rise in dental care costs are, in many cases, double the level that has been experienced in other provinces.

As a median fee, there has been an overall increase of 56 per cent over the last 10 years: the equivalent of a 5.6 per cent rise every year. As an example, that is double the level in British Columbia (2.6 per cent), as well as Ontario (2.4 per cent).

In Alberta, the rate an insurer will pay for a 30minute dental cleaning is as high as $141 – placing it well ahead of Ontario at $110 and British Columbia at $73.80. Meanwhile, coverage for a bitewing radiograph costs $47 in Alberta, significantly more than the $34 in Ontario and the $23.70 in British Columbia.

According to Weir, a lack of a fee guide may explain why Alberta has endured such significant increases. However, she believes there are many ways for consumers to mitigate costs: such as by capitalising on the frequency of dental visits covered and taking note of both co-pay and deductible requirements.

What are the dental costs like in your area? Leave a comment below with your experiences.