Your Rights as a Patient

Home/Your Rights as a Patient
  • You have a right to see the dentist every time you receive dental treatment.
  • You have a right to ask about treatment alternatives and be told, in language you can understand, the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • You have a right to know the education and training of your dentist and the dental team.
  • You have a right to know in advance the type and expected cost of treatment.
  • You have a right to expect dental team members to use appropriate infection and sterilization controls.
  • You have a right to ask your dentist to explain all the treatment options regardless of coverage or cost.
  • You have a right to be treated in a professional and ethical manner by your dentist and dental team.
  • You should have a right to schedule an appointment with the dentist of your choice.

Dental Insurance

Dental plans, offered by many employers, are a means to help pay for your dental treatment.  Most Canadians enjoy dental plans and the insurance companies that provide them are actually benefit carriers.  Carriers reimburse patients based on the level of coverage decided by the patient’s employer.

When you visit the dentist, it is the dentist’s role to make a treatment plan based on your oral health needs.  Your needs may be different from what is covered by your dental plan.  It is your right as a patient to decide whether or not to go ahead with any treatment.

If you don’t have a dental plan and cannot afford to pay your entire bill at once, ask your dentist about a payment plan.  If you cannot afford care, even with a payment plan, contact the nearest:

  • Social services agency to see if you qualify for government-funded dental care.
  • Dental school where senior dental students provide treatment at a reduced cost.

Dental services may seem expensive, but in Canada we don’t have to pay directly when we visit a doctor or hospital, so we may not recognize the high cost of providing health services. Dental plans, or benefits, are a means to help you pay for your dental treatment.

Finding a Dentist

You can find a dentist in your area by:

  • Word of mouth – Ask family, friends, neighbours or co-workers for recommendations.
  • References – If you’re moving, your current dentist may be able to refer you to another dentist in your new area.
  • Contact your province or territorial regulatory authority or dental association – Your provincial or territorial regulatory authority or dental association may be able to help you locate a dentist in your new area.  Check out its website for a dentist locator search engine or dentist directory.

As always, visit the Canadian Dental Association for further questions on dental health care or call our office.