Increases to be expected at the dentist
In addition to seeing their income decrease since they can accommodate fewer patients during the day, dentists have had to invest a lot of money in their practice to be able to welcome clients.
Share November 16, 2020 3:00 am Updated at 10:14 am Share Increases to be expected at the dentist
Tommy Brochu La Tribune SHERBROOKE – An average increase of 4.2% for dental costs is suggested by the Association of dental surgeons of Quebec from January 2021. “The bulk of the bill is not passed on to the customer, estimates however an administrator of the ACDQ and dentist in Estrie, Mathieu Faubert. It is we who absorb it. “
“Some procedures are at 0% and others at 6%,” explains Dr. Faubert, who works at the Center dentaire du Vieux Sherbrooke. Complex surgery to remove a hard (to reach) tooth may increase by 6%, but prevention things like cleaning are not going to increase this year. “
The Tariff Guide is based on an annual survey based on increasing operating costs such as supplies, salaries and premises. “What was planned for this year, according to the 2018 figures we had, it should increase by 2.8%. But given the increase in the costs of supplies and because of the measures, we increased by 1.4%, ”he says, adding that this increase is explained by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also considers the 2.8% increase to be a normal increase.
Remember, however, that each dentist is free to set his own fees.
In addition to seeing their income decrease since they can receive fewer patients during the day, dentists have had to invest a lot of money in their practice to be able to welcome clients, says the president of the Société Dentaire de l'Estrie (SDE ), François Parent-Léveillé.
By falling back into the red zone, dentists must tighten their protocols. Remember that they must have made a lot of investments a few months ago.
“We have to change our procedure mask when we produce aerosols: that is to say, the majority of treatments in the dentist's room. You have to use an N95 or a KN95, which is a slightly less waterproof alternative, but is accepted by Health Canada, ”he describes.
“We have to use an isolation gown over our uniform when there is sustained production of aerosols for several minutes. The worker is protected and we must change it for each patient, ”continues the dentist, noting that assistants and hygienists must also follow these procedures.
In the red zone, the visor is also compulsory.
A major change for some dentists: treatments must be done in a closed room. Cubicles separated by screens are therefore no longer accepted during treatments with aerosols. “Several dentists had to change [the layout of] their clinics in March. We are going back to the protocol for the month of June that we applied during the first month of returning to work. “
Some dentists have also had to invest in air freshener systems so that an air change is performed more efficiently between patients.
“We, at the Chez le dentiste clinic, to be compliant for the return to work, it cost us about $ 40,000. We are six partners for twenty rooms, ”says the dentist, specifying that one of his members had to invest up to $ 70,000 to close the walls, install doors and install a ventilation system.
According to Dr. Parent-Léveillé, the price of disinfectant solutions has also swelled. “It has quintupled. The small jar of wipes used to clean up after patients went by cost eight dollars in March. Today it is between $ 50 and $ 60 for the same pot. The masks have tripled in price. So that's where the increase in prices comes from, ”summarizes the president of SDE.