If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, the Fort McMurray dental clinics can begin to all look the same. It’s true that all practicing dentists are held to the same professional standard as far as procedures and training is concerned – but the patient experience is what differs.
Different Clinic – Different Experience
There are superficial differences to observe in a Fort McMurray dental clinic such as variations in décor, logistics in the waiting area or how much they cater to the needs of children. Some offices will have very dry, quiet waiting areas while a family dentist in Fort McMurray is more likely to have an area dedicated to children. Books, toys, and even screens may be available!
Oral Health Profile
The environment is only half of the equation where patient experience is concerned – and the other half is you! Each patient that walks into a dental clinic has a unique set of circumstances around their oral health and medical profile. Other things that vary from dentist to dentist? Fees.
Fort McMurray dentists, like all dentists in Alberta, are encouraged to use the Alberta dental formulary which outlines recommended fees per procedure. This formulary has been in place since 2018, and while it is a recommendation to follow, it is not mandatory. That means that you can’t just rely on the formulary to predict your dental fees, so you may want to collect several estimates.
Proximity and Specialities
We often hear: “I need a dentist near me” from patients looking for the best dental clinic or best dentist in Fort McMurray. While this is possible, there are a few things to keep in mind: if you require an endodontist or a periodontist you will need to seek comparable specialists for pricing. If your needs are particular, you may find that accessing the care you need requires some commuting.
Second, searching “pediatric dentist near me” is different than searching for “family dentist near me”. So, it is important to know what kind of dentist you are looking for. If all you need is a dental checkup, seeking out specialists with long waiting lists may not be possible or necessary. But if you’re suffering from an infection, we recommend that your first search be: “emergency dentist near me”.
There are lots of emergency dentists in Fort McMurray – but depending on the time of day it could be more (or less) difficult to find one with availability. That’s because many general dentists offer dental emergency services to walk-ins as well as treat their own patient list. At Timberlea Dental Clinic, we encourage patients with emergencies to call the front desk to check our availability. We always maintain some flexibility in our schedule for these situations, but there are times when we may not be able to accommodate a procedure fast enough. For example, if you knock a tooth out, you only have about 30 minutes to get to a dentist before reinserting that tooth is likely to be unsuccessful. If you need to see a different dentist than you typically do in order to treat your emergency situation, your dentist can still follow your care after the urgent concerns are addressed.
Personal Needs and Preferences
“Best” is subjective. When looking for the “best” practitioner, only you can be the judge of that for your own care. If you require special services like sedation dentistry in Fort McMurray, this will help you determine who the contenders are.
While oral sedation, such as by laughing gas or prescribed benzodiazepines, are common among general dental clinics, access to deeper levels of sedation (IV sedation or general anesthesia) is more difficult. Talk to your prospective dentist about what is available and what has helped you undergo dental procedures in the past. Patients who have significant anxiety about having dental procedures performed should not feel shame about this – it’s common. When patients are nervous, they have difficulty keeping still and the procedure’s duration may be extended as a result. When you’ve discussed your needs with your dentist, you will feel confident that you have a plan in place and your procedure is likely to be more efficient as a result. It is common for children as well as adults to experience discomfort during dental procedures and it is usually treated well with oral sedation.
All of these factors, as well as time and materials, may factor into your final dental fees and impact the total due. If you have insurance, be sure to have a predetermination of costs completed prior to booking your procedure. This will ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises when it comes time to pay for your services. If you do not have any insurance coverage, talk to your dentist about payment plan options. Your dentist will likely work with you to find a payment structure that is doable for you.