Our Policies & Procedures

Appointment Bookings

We try to tailor the office hours to patient demand as much as possible. Both late and early appointments are available, but limited. We understand the need for these hours, but we also have to allow the staff (and the Dentist) adequate time for home and family. Since these high-demand hours are always very busy, we ask your cooperation in booking outside these hours where possible.  If we all work together, there will be enough time for everyone.

Cancellations

We ask your cooperation in keeping appointments. Missed appointments deprive other patients of that time. Our receptionists reserve a time specially for you; PLEASE give our Kitchener Dentist office at least 2 business days notice if you must cancel. Regrettably, a cancellation fee must be charged for appointments missed or canceled on short notice.

 Appointment Reminders

We have an automated system that will send automatic appointment reminders by email or text to ALL our patients. Just tell us you’d like that, and we’ll activate auto-reminders for you!

The First Exam

The first appointment in our Kitchener Dentist office is normally reserved for a thorough examination and diagnosis. This takes about an hour.  We have an intra-oral camera system that allows us to show you exactly what’s happening in your mouth. Once all oral problems have been identified, we discuss treatment alternatives with you, and arrange a treatment plan with your needs in mind. We’ll normally clean your teeth on the second appointment, since we don’t know how much time is required until we’ve seen your mouth. Because self-care and maintenance at home is every bit as important as our care, we offer thorough instruction in self-maintenance. We want to do everything possible to make sure that, once things are healthy, they’ll stay that way

Fees and Insurance

Our fees follow the Ontario Dental Association Fee Guide. We are very competitive in the Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo area.

Preventive Care is always cheaper than the ultimate cost of neglect!

We work for our patients – we have no relationship with the insurance companies. The financial obligation for treatment is your responsibility.

For ethical reasons, we don’t accept payment directly from insurance companies to us.

Payment Terms

Payment by cash or cheque is requested at the time of service.  We also accept Mastercard, VISA and Interac. And we’ll make individualized financial arrangements for major treatment.

We’ll be happy to discuss financial arrangements with you at the treatment planning stage, and we’ll also provide a written treatment plan and estimate.

If any of us can be of help anytime, please don’t hesitate to ask!

The Importance of Prevention

Both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are mostly preventable. Yet more than 80% of the population has gum disease, and repairing decay takes up much of dentists’ time. We want to do better.  It’s our goal to help you become and stay healthy, not just to repair the damage when you’re not. This approach is not only healthier – it’s also cheaper in the long run.

Dental Emergencies

Patients with sudden, urgent problems after hours telephone the office for instruction. The Waterloo-Wellington Dental Association also provides a dental emergency referral number for residents unable to reach their dentist after hours  – it’s on our answering machine.

We wish we could save the entire world, but for obvious reasons, we can only provide emergency advice or care to our own patients.

Know Your Dental Plan !

Dental “Insurance” is a big help – with strings attached. It can pay for a lot of your dental needs, but can create a lot of “red tape” in the process. And it’s not free – the Ontario Dental Association estimates that a typical dental plan adds up to 25%  to the cost of dental care (in administrative costs, paperwork and company profit.)

Insurance companies don’t examine your mouth, and aren’t tailored to the appropriate care for you. They do pay you for some of your dentistry, based on the terms and conditions of each plan. There are a great variety of dental plans, each with different benefits, exclusions, limits, predetermination requirements, and other fine print.  We don’t have this information – you should contact your union or employer to obtain precise information.  If you will bring in a complete  and up-to-date summary of your plan, we will be happy to assist you in interpreting it.

When your dental plan does not cover the entire fee for a certain procedure, it is usually for one of three reasons:

o  The procedure is not covered under the plan.
o   It only covers a percentage of that procedure.
o   It does not cover current fees.

The ultimate choice of care should still be yours – dental plans are often poor guidelines of what’s best for individual patients. If you think your benefits are unreasonable, contact your employer’s benefit department or your union – the employer chooses the plan, and changes are only made when enough people want them.

Children Dental Services

Children are a large and enjoyable part of the Doon South Dental practice.   We begin seeing children regularly at age three, but children should have a quick first assessment by age 1, to screen for early problems.

Our treatment of the child patient includes evaluation of facial growth, orthodontic problems and psychological needs, and in some cases we devote as much time to a young patient as an adult. Early treatment of beginning dental problems can prevent the need for extensive (and expensive) repair work later.

With nitrous oxide gas and new technology, “freezing” young children’s mouths is now generally unnecessary.

Some important Dos and Don’ts for your children’s dental treatment:

Don’t over-prepare them.  Please treat the dental appointment casually, and don’t have a long talk about it.  Children will expect a more difficult experience if you do.
If you are anxious, please stay out of the room. Children are experts at picking up on adults’ body language. If you feel tense or anxious in the dental office,  this will be transferred to your child if you stand in the room with them.  Send them with a parent or relative who is comfortable with dentistry – or stay in the reception area.

Let us do the talking and explaining.  We need your child’s concentration to do the best job, and we have to minimize distractions.  When the parent is talking or repeating, it divides the child’s attention and makes it much more difficult to accomplish treatment. Please re-assure your child with your presence, but be a “silent partner”

Watch Your Language.  We ask that emotionally-loaded words be avoided with children. We do not speak of needles, or drills to kids – and we musk ask that you don’t either.  Here are a few much better expressions that are standard language in our office:

Sleepy Medicine              instead of            needle

Tooth Cleaner                  instead of            drill

Rubber Raincoat              instead of            rubber dam

Wiggle a tooth out            instead of            pull a tooth out

Tooth Counter                  instead of            dental instrument

Orthodontics

We offer basic orthodontics (including braces) for many of our patients. Kitchener-Waterloo also has several excellent orthodontic specialists for more complex cases that can’t be treated here. Every case starts with a thorough orthodontic assessment and analysis, and a consultation to discuss treatment options.