High fees keeping patients away from the dentist in Canada

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Patients in Canada are avoiding regular trips to the dentist as a result of high fees.

A report compiled by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences revealed that Canadians spend more than $12 million per year on dental care, but up to 6 million avoid routine dental trips as a result of cost. Many working families have access to dental cover through expansive health insurance policies, but most standard policies don’t cover dental work, meaning that patients who do need treatment face considerable costs.

Melanie Laxson, 38, says she has no access to dental treatment because she doesn’t have insurance, and she could never afford the fees charged by dentists. She is one of millions struggling to afford to see a dentist. In a bid to get the treatment she needed, Melanie turned to McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry, a dental school in Montreal that provides cut-price treatments administered by students. Melanie said that the option was a lifeline for her, as she needed a lot of work done. Dr John Drummond, a dentist who teaches at the school, said that typically, patients can save up to 30 percent on every procedure.

To save money, patients are advised to compare prices offered by different clinics, research local dental schools and invest in preventative measures.

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